israel news stabbing

Israel News for November 30, 2015

More Terror
Early Sunday morning, a Palestinian man in his late 30’s attacked two Border Police officers near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. He shouted “Allahu Akbar” and stabbed one of the officers in the neck, wounding him. The officers shot and killed the terrorist.

A couple of hours later, a woman was walking on Shamgar Street in Jerusalem when a Palestinian terrorist came up behind her, stabbed her in the back and fled. The woman, who was a foreign worker from Nepal, was lightly wounded. The attacker, a 17 year old Palestinian from the West Bank, was apprehended by police.

Also on Sunday, a 16 year old Palestinian attempting to throw a molotov cocktail was shot by Border Police during violent clashes in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The police had come under a barrage of about 10 firebombs just before the shooting. According to police, the officers shot the firebomb thrower in the lower part of the body, but the Palestinian Health Ministry reported that the boy suffered a wound to the chest and was pronounced dead at a clinic he was transferred to.

In response, Palestinian organizations in Jerusalem, including the Fatah’s youth movement, have called for a “day of rage and mourning” on Monday.

For further reading click here.

Jews Convicted
A Jerusalem court convicted two Jewish minors in the brutal murder of 16 year old Palestinian Muhammad Abu Khdeir in July 2014. The conviction of the third, and primary, defendant, 31 year old Yosef Haim Ben-David, was suspended due to a last-minute psychiatric evaluation that claimed he was not responsible for his actions at the time of the murder. The court claims that there is enough evidence to convict him. The defendants admitted that the murder was in revenge for the murder of the three Jewish teens who were kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Gush Etzion in the summer of 2014.

For further reading click here.

Internet Wars
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely met with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Google’s Director of Public Policy, Jennifer Oztzistzki, at Google’s Silicon Valley Offices last week to find ways of cooperating to censor terror inciting videos.

Hotovely said, “The attacks daily in Israel are the result of youths and children incited by the education system and the social networks, this is a daily war of incitement.”

Foreign journalists who report from the West Bank are required to register with the Israeli military, and any footage that they film is required to go through the Israeli Military Censor’s office before it can be released. But with today’s technology, people can now post uncensored video directly online.

Hotovely said that Google agreed to strengthen relations with Israel’s Foreign Ministry and build a mechanism of “collaborative work” that would make both parties partners in monitoring the published materials and censoring them.

For further reading click here.

PM Slams EU
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered Israel’s Foreign Ministry to suspend contact with European Union institutions over all issues related to the peace process with the Palestinians, in response to the EU’s decision to label products made in the West Bank and the Golan.

The senior Foreign Ministry official said that “it is inconceivable that Israel will hold dialogue with EU institutions on how to advance a peace process while the EU simultaneously initiates measures against Israel.” The official added, “Israel will examine each case individually with the guiding principle of making sure Israel’s interest vis-à-vis Europe and EU nations are not harmed.”

Although the suspension of contact sounds tough, it’s really the lightest response that the PM had to choose from, since it doesn’t preclude discussions with individual member states.

According to the senior official, “This decision is almost completely devoid of any real significance. It’s like the EU saying it is cutting communications with Israel but continuing to hold talks with each of its minister’s independently.”

In any case, the EU labeling is not expected to have any significant economic impact on Israel, so the PM’s reaction is probably very appropriate.

For further reading click here.

Russia Next Door
With the Russian military increasing their presence in Syria and conducting significant numbers of airstrikes in the area, Israel has been working closely with the Russians to coordinate their respective military operations to avoid a situation similar to the one where Turkey shot down a Russian plane that it claimed violated its airspace.

On Sunday, Defense Minister Ya’alon told Israel radio that despite Israeli and Russian efforts to coordinate military operations in Syria, on one occasion a Russian plane penetrated Israel’s airspace by one mile. He said that Israel immediately made contact and the plane immediately returned to Syrian airspace.

Mistakes are bound to happen, which is why the joint coordination is so important. Israel also wants to make sure that its planes can continue attacking targets in Syria when necessary, without inadvertently crossing paths with the Russians.

A senior IAF officer said that, “Russia is not the enemy, and our policy does not include attacking or firing at any Russian.” He added that despite the mutual coordination, no “demilitarized” zones were defined from which Israel’s air force would be excluded. “We don’t need anyone’s permission and we make sure we get our job done” he said.

For further reading click here.

Copt Out
The leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, made a rare visit to Israel to attend the funeral of a senior Coptic official in Jerusalem on Saturday.

Tawadros broke a ban against travel to Israel that was imposed by his predecessor, who opposed the normalization of ties between Egypt and Israel. In response to protests and accusations of betrayal from Egyptian Copts, Tawadros insisted that he was not making an official visit, but was just there for the funeral. He wouldn’t want anyone to think that he was actually interested in pursuing peace. What ever happened to “turn the other cheek”? Peace on earth?

For further reading click here.

Modesty Patrol
It looks like the issue of of modest dressing isn’t just one for the religious community. A secular public high school in Kiryat Ono asked their 12th grade female students to lower their skirts to cover their knees or to stand behind a bench to hide their legs, for their yearbook photos. The school explained that their mode of dress was “immodest” and “disrespectful” of the school. The girls were furious, and many felt humiliated by the administration.

Days before the yearbook photo shoot, the girls were warned not to wear sleeveless shirts, low-cut blouses or “too short” dresses and skirts. Dress-code has been an issue throughout the country over the past year, specifically regarding a rule banning girls from wearing super short shorts, which isn’t enforced against boys (can anyone else see the difference here?).

The Education Ministry said the Kiryat Ono school “has a mandate to set norms for dress, in a spirit appropriate to the school’s charter, which is set in cooperation with the students, teachers and parents. The claims were passed on to the [ministry] inspector for the school.”

Knesset Member Ilan Gilon of Meretz who is a member of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women complained to Education Minister Naftali Bennett. He wrote,“The excessive attention given to the length of the students’ dresses is problematic. Since when has the [non-religious] state schools system started demanding a modesty regime from its students? What are the criteria for such dress and what is the educational message that the school’s staff is trying to pass on?”

Do you think secular schools should impose “modest dress” regulations on students? What should those regulations be based on?

For further reading click here.

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Israel News for November 27, 2015

More Terror
At around 7:30am today, a Palestinian rammed his car into the bus stop where soldiers were standing near Maaleh Adumin. He then exited his car a ran at the soldiers with a knife but was shot and killed. Two soldiers were lightly injured.

At around 12:30pm today, a Palestinian rammed his car into soldiers at the entrance to the Beit Ummar refugee camp near Kiryat Arba, wounding four moderately and one lightly. The attacker was shot and wounded.

For further reading click here.

Terror Denier
The sixteen year old Palestinian terrorist who was shot last week after brandishing scissors in Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem is filing a complaint against the police officer who shot her. She and her fourteen year old friend stabbed a seventy year old Palestinian (thinking he was a Jew). Her friend was shot dead at the scene.

The girl told investigators that her friend asked her to go with her to Jaffa street. She claimed she had no intention of hurting anyone when suddenly her friend pulled out scissors and scratched someone. “Then people started screaming “terrorist” at me. I got scared they would attack me so I pulled out scissors in self defense and suddenly they shot me”.

After the attack the police said that the officer acted according to procedure. But once the complaint is filed they will review the facts to make sure.

For further reading click here.

Israel in UAE
Israel will be opening an official diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The mission won’t be an embassy or consulate. It will be accredited to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which is based in Abu Dhabi. It will be the first time an Israeli foreign ministry official is permanently stationed in the Gulf state. But it still doesn’t mean that Israel has diplomatic relations with the UAE.

For further reading click here.

Israel Replaces Turkey
As tensions heat up between Russia and Turkey over the shooting down of a Russian bomber by Turkish fighters, it looks like Israel might actually gain from the crisis.

Yesterday, Russia announced that it would tighten its supervision of food imports from Turkey, claiming that they were repeatedly violating food safety standards. Russian Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachyov said that at least 15% of Turkish agricultural produce imported by Russia did not meet Russian standards in both nitrate levels and the use of various pesticides banned in Russia. Turkish vegetables currently account for 20% of the total Russian imports of vegetables.

Tkachyov said that he would consider substituting Turkish imports with produce from Israel, Morocco, Iran and Uzbekistan.

This could mean a lot more business for Israeli farmers.

For further reading click here.

Missile Defense
Israel successfully tested its new Barak 8 surface-to-air missile defense system yesterday. The Barak 8 system can be deployed at sea or on land and was designed to destroy threats from the air such as drones, fighter jets, missiles, and rockets, including in the event of multiple simultaneous launches.

Israel believes that Hezbollah now possesses sophisticated Russian made missiles, which makes Barak 8 all the more vital to Israel’s security.

For further reading click here.

Ashkenazic Money
You probably can’t name most of the people whose pictures are on Israeli money (at least without looking). But there’s one thing you can be sure of: they’re all of Ashkenazic descent.

New banknotes that were approved a couple of years ago and will be released soon will commemorate famous Israeli poets, but only Ashkenazic ones. Aryeh Deri, the head of the Shas (Sephardic Haredi) party and the Minister for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, has requested a special government debate about the new banknotes not including any Sephardic poets.

Deri said, “People of Mizrahi (Sephardi) descent make up half of the Israeli population and it’s not appropriate or reasonable that they should wait dozens of years for the next round of new banknotes.” He added that, “For 67 years the Mizrahi public has not been represented in state symbols in proportion with its relative population size, nor in prize committees or curricula.”

He’s got a point.

For further reading click here.

Wedding of Strength
Just two weeks after her father and brother were murdered in a terror attack, Sarah Tehiya Litman married Ariel Beigel in Jerusalem last night. Thousands of people participated in the celebrations, which were filled with joyous singing and dancing. The two Chief Rabbis of Israel and the head of the Merkaz Harav yeshiva took part in the wedding ceremony.

Sarah Netanyahu came to congratulate the couple and show her support. She said, “I embrace you on behalf of myself, the Prime Minister and entire Nation of Israel, you and your younger brothers and wish for you to build a beautiful home in the Nation of Israel.”

Sarah Tehiya said, “There isn’t a moment that I don’t miss Netanel’s smile, or father’s humility and modesty, and that will always accompany me. But precisely from the pain in the month of courage before Hanukkah we will, together with all the nation of Israel, spread a great light of joy, giving and love that the nation of Israel has inundated upon us.”

For further reading click here.

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Israel News for November 26, 2015

Deadly Accident
A female soldier was killed and around 40 other soldiers were injured when their bus overturned into a ditch near the settlement of Kochav Hashachar in Samaria today. Police said that the driver lost control of the vehicle. Helicopters and ambulances evacuated the seriously wounded from the scene.

Earlier this morning, Border Police officers shot and killed a Palestinian near Tapuah Junction in the West Bank after he got out of a taxi near a military post and began running toward officers while brandishing a knife.

For further reading click here and here.

Close Call
The Palestinians seem to be adept at missing opportunities. They’ve passed up Israeli offers for their own state on several occasions. It looks like they messed up again.

Prior to the recent wave of terror, the IDF had recommended easing restrictions on the Palestinians in the areas of security, economy and construction.

Believe it or not, the military proposed approving requests made by the Palestinian Authority for armored vehicles, weapons (primarily light arms including Kalashnikov and M16 rifles) and ammunition. It also recommended releasing Palestinian security prisoners who have been jailed in Israel for decades.

But wait, there’s more. The IDF recommended measures to make it easier for Palestinians to obtain permits allowing them to work in Israel.

None of these recommendations are going to be implemented because of the ongoing violence. But what happens when the violence ends? Will the government implement the IDF’s recommendations? Scary.

For further reading click here.

New Wall
Defense Minister Ya’alon announced yesterday that the defense establishment will be constructing an updated security fence between Hevron and Kiryat Gat. The sophisticated and hermetically sealed fence, similar to the one on the Sinai border, will be built within a year and will cost hundreds of millions of shekels, with financing coming from the recently approved defense budget.

This decision comes in the wake of a terror attack in Kiryat Gat on Saturday night in which the terrorist, a resident of the village of Yatir near Hevron, apparently snuck into the area through holes in the existing fence. Four people were wounded in that attack.

Is this an isolated initiative, or is it part of a much larger plan to build an impregnable security fence along the entire dividing line between the West Bank and pre-1967 Israel?

For further reading click here.

IAF Strikes
A Saudi Arabian news site has reported that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck a Hezbollah base near Damascus on Monday night. The site cited an Israeli security source who said that Israel believes that Hezbollah is storing advanced Russian anti-tank missiles that are capable of piercing the defenses of the Merkava Mark IV, Israel’s most advanced tank.

Arab sources had also reported an Israeli airstrike near Damascus International Airport around two weeks ago. Earlier in the month it also reported that the IAF struck an advanced missile transfer including long-range Scud missiles as they made their way through Qalamoun en route to Hezbollah.

The message seems pretty clear: Israel will do whatever it takes to stop Hezbollah from getting advanced weapons from anyone. The IAF rules!!

For further reading click here.

Iran Speaks
Not to be overshadowed by the events in Syria, ISIS, Paris and worldwide terror in general, Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, said on Wednesday that Iran would support the Palestinian uprising against Israel “in any way we can,” and rejected U.S. accusations that a recent wave of Palestinian knife and car-ramming attacks amounted to “terrorism.”

He added, “We will defend the movement of the Palestinian people with all of our existence, and in any way and as long as we can.”

Is anyone surprised? Thank God “radical Islam” doesn’t exist, or else we’d really be in trouble.

For further reading click here.

Sexual Harassment
Knesset Member Yinon Magal, the head of the Bayit Yehudi Knesset faction, was removed from his post by party chairman Naftali Bennett after accusations of sexual harassment against him surfaced.

Yesterday, police began an inquiry into the testimonies of several women who claimed that they were sexually harassed by Magal when they worked at Walla News, where Magal served as Editor-in-Chief, and after he left to run for office.

Bayit Yehudi party members have said that if the investigation continues and things get worse, further steps will be considered. In the meantime, Magal will continue to hold his Knesset seat and remain a member of the Committee on the Status of Women. Makes perfect sense, right?

Hey, if Saudi Arabia can chair the UN committee on Civil Rights….

For further reading click here.

Waste Transformer
Turning water into wine is neat. But an Israeli startup is doing something a bit more useful. HomeBiogas is marketing a product that takes your kitchen waste and turns it into gas for cooking. You can even throw in dog pooh (and then cook with it? Yum.)!

According to the company, each kilogram of food waste can generate about 200 liters of gas, enough for an hour’s cooking time on high flame. If fed the optimal amounts of “fuel,” the system can emit enough gas for three to four hours of cooking per day. That’s enough to make several meals for a family.

There are a few downsides. The unit is pretty big and emits a rotten egg smell, so you don’t want to keep it indoors. It also costs $890 plus tax, in Israel. The US suggested retail price is $1,500. But due to its use of bacteria to decompose the waste, the unit will only work in warm climates, like the Mediterranean and Africa.

I doubt Google will be buying this Israeli startup so quickly.

For further reading click here.

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Israel News for November 25, 2015

More Terror
A 20 year old Israeli man was stabbed and seriously wounded by a Palestinian at the Al Fawar junction near Kiryat Arba today. The terrorist was shot and wounded by soldiers at the scene.

For further reading click here.

Obama Calls
According to a JTA report, President Obama called the parents of Ezra Schwartz Z”L on Monday to offer his condolences.

“The president offered his profound condolences and condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack that took his life,” a senior administration official told JTA. “The president also underscored that Ezra’s studies in Israel strengthened the bonds between Israel and the United States and, as we mourn his death, those bonds only grow stronger.”

The President’s call comes amid protests from some Jewish groups and activists who were upset that he did not acknowledge and condemn Schwartz’s murder by terrorists on the day it occurred. A condemnation came a day after the murder from the State Department, not the White House.

There were further complaints when Obama, in remarks during a news conference in Malaysia on Sunday, singled out for mention two other Americans killed in recent terrorist attacks, in Mali and Paris, but did not mention Schwartz.

So now he called.

For further reading click here.

Kerry Talks
Regarding the meeting yesterday between PM Netanyahu and Secretary of State Kerry, an Israeli diplomatic source said that the PM told Kerry that he would not freeze Israeli construction in the West Bank or east Jerusalem and that he would tie Palestinian building permits to international recognition of Israel’s right to build in those areas.

Netanyahu blamed the PA for taking an active role in the incitement, related mainly to Al Aqsa, that he believes is the primary cause of the current wave of violence, and that his first condition for the return to normal economic and security conditions was the end to that violence.

Kerry strongly condemned the violence and terrorism, and acknowledged Israel’s right to defend herself. He said, “I expressed my complete condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives and disrupts the day-to-day life of a nation. Israel has every right in the world to defend itself and it has an obligation to defend itself, and it will and it is.”

For further reading click here.

Getting Tougher
The PM and the Defense Minister are considering expelling the families of terrorists to the Gaza Strip. In the meantime, they’ve decided that in addition to destroying the family homes of terrorists, close family members will also have their Israeli work permits and their exit permits to Jordan cancelled. The hope is that these measures will persuade family members to prevent their relatives and offspring from committing acts of terror.

For further reading click here.

No Draft
The Knesset yesterday passed the second and third readings of an amendment to the law passed by the previous government to impose restrictions on Haredim who do not register for the IDF draft. The amendment permits a six year delay in the law’s implementation and removes sanctions from those who avoid the draft.

The amendment passed by a vote of 49 – 36, as a result of political agreements between Likud and the Haredi parties.

Yesh Atid and the National Union of Israeli Students are both expected to submit a petition to the Supreme Court opposing postponement of the law’s implementation.

Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party spearheaded the original law, said: “During a week full of security incidents, while there are funerals and people being evacuated to hospital, while security forces are stretched to their limit – this is when the Israeli Knesset will vote against IDF soldiers.”

According to a poll by the Smith Institute, 76 percent of the Jewish public opposes the main amendment to the bill, which postpones the drafting of yeshiva students by six years. The poll also shows that a wide majority of right wing voters are opposed to the bill.

For further reading click here.

Israeli Predators
Does it make you feel good to know that you’re eating produce from fields treated with chemical pesticides? Most people would answer no. Well, Israeli knowhow might soon make chemical pesticides obsolete.

Some 600 million carnivorous spiders that were raised in Bio-Bee labs in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu will be flown to agricultural fields in Colombia, to be used as natural pesticides. The tiny spider mites, marketed as Bio® Persimilis, are twice the size of the spider mites that harm crops.

The company says that the Israeli mite can eat large quantities of their harmful counterparts. When the Persimilis encounters a harmful mite, it chases after it, bites down into it, and sucks it dry. The natural predators are kept in refrigerated conditions until they arrive at their designated dispersal site; when they are released into the warm air, they begin reproducing and hunting at a rate of tens of thousands of mites per day.

Bio-Bee also recently exported 400 million fruit flies that were radioactively sterilized. The sterile flies from Israel were sent to agricultural lands on the border between Croatia and Bosnia to displace other fruit flies that were causing massive damage to the local crops.

These “natural” alternatives to chemicals sound amazing, but they’re still more expensive than chemical pesticides. Are you willing to pay more for chemical free produce? Lots of Americans are. Have you ever been to Whole Foods?

For further reading click here.

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Israel News for November 24, 2015

More Terror
This morning a Palestinian from Jenin rammed his car into soldiers at the Tapuach junction in the West Bank. Four soldiers were wounded, none seriously. A Border Policeman at the scene shot and wounded the terrorist.

Yesterday, two Israeli soldiers were waiting for some roadside assistance near a gas station on Highway 443, not far from Modiin, after a small accident. A Palestinian attacked and stabbed them.

Pvt. Ziv Mizrachi, 18, from Givat Ze’ev, was pronounced dead by paramedics on the scene who tried to resuscitate him. The female soldier he was with was also stabbed and lightly wounded. She was evacuated in stable condition. Another woman was lightly wounded from gunshots fired in the attempt to stop the terrorist. The terrorist, 16, was shot and killed by soldiers at the scene.

Mizrahi’s uncle, Alon, was killed in the terrorist bombing of the Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem in 2003. Alon was the security guard who blocked the suicide bomber from entering the cafe.

Mizrahi’s mother arrived at the scene shortly after and screamed, “They’ve taken Ziv from me.”

For further reading click here and here.

Kerry Calls
US Secretary of State John Kerry called the family of Ezra Schwartz, the American teen killed in a terrorist attack last week in Israel, to offer condolences. The Schwartzes live in the Boston area.

Kerry, who had once been the US Senator from Massachusetts, was on a visit to Abu Dhabi when he made the call. Kerry told reporters there that there is no justification for Palestinian terror attacks against Israel.

He said, “Look at Ezra Schwartz, who got shot, and another young life cut short. It happens almost every day over there and it’s terrible, and too many Israelis have been killed and stabbed, and too many Palestinians. And there’s no excuse for any of the violence. There’s just no rationale. Even if you’re unhappy and you’re disappointed in the lack of whatever the political horizon is, whatever, violence is not the solution.”

Kerry arrived in Israel today to try and put an end to the violence, at least temporarily. He met with the PM and said that Israel has the right to defend herself against terror attacks on civilians and expressed “complete condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives and disrupts the day-to-day life of a nation.”

Kerry added that, “It is very clear to us that the terrorism, these acts of terrorism which have been taking place, deserve the condemnation that they are receiving.”

Following his meeting with Netanyahu, he will meet President Reuven Rivlin and opposition leader Isaac Herzog. Then, he will head to Ramallah for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Let’s hope for a miracle, because that’s probably what it will take to stop the violence at this point.

For further reading click here.

Silence for Ezra
In a show of support and deep sadness for the murder of Ezra Schwartz last week, there was a moment of silence before the start of the Monday night football game between the Buffalo Bills and Schwartz’s favorite, the New England Patriots. The game was nationally televised. So regardless of whether or not government officials do or do not acknowledge Schwartz’s death at the hands of terrorists, the American people have spoken loud and clear.

For further reading click here.

Chelsea Arrives
English soccer Premier League champions Chelsea are in Israel for their Champions League game with Maccabi Tel Aviv, which takes place today. Before their departure, the UK government published a warning regarding trips to Israel due to what they termed a “high threat of terrorism.”

When asked about the security situation, Chelsea defender Gary Cahill said, “I think you just have to rely on people who know a lot more than me about the whole situation to make sensible decisions.”

These days Israel seems a lot safer than Europe.

For further reading click here.

Gaza Land Grab
Ever wonder what happened to all the land that Israel abandoned when it evacuated the Jewish settlements from Gaza in the 2005 disengagement?

Well, Hamas has announced that it’s giving the land as compensation to thousands of its government’s officials and employees who haven’t been paid by the Palestinian Authority Ramallah based government in well over a year.

The PA has refused to pay on the grounds that the appointments made by Hamas were illegal. They claim that Hamas should pay, but not from the land that they claim belongs to the Palestinian people — or more realistically, to the PA government.

In any case, PA officials say that Hamas employees will never really see any compensation from Hamas. But neither will the Palestinian people in the West Bank. The real question is which government’s leaders will boost their Swiss bank accounts with the real estate — the PA or Hamas.

This should be good.

For further reading click here.

IDF Responds
Israeli warplanes struck a Hamas military compound in the center of the Gaza Strip on Monday night, after a rocket was fired from the Strip at Israel earlier in the day. The rocket landed in an empty area, and no warning sirens were sounded.

According to an IDF statement, the army considers Hamas to be the “sole responsible party for goings-on in the Gaza Strip, and will continue to act with severity to keep the calm in southern communities.

For further reading click here.

Mother Complains
The mother of a female soldier who was drafted into the military police last week is complaining. While a complaining Jewish mother might not seem very newsworthy, the reason for her complaint is a bit over board. The mother is upset that her daughter participated in an IDF sponsored Challah separating ceremony in Kfar Chabad.

Wha?? According to Jewish law, when someone kneads a significant amount of dough, they are obligated to separate a piece of the dough to be given to a Cohen (these days the piece is burned). It’s called “separating or taking” Challah, and it’s one of a select number of commandments reserved specifically for women.

So yes, mom is upset that her baby girl broke off a piece of dough as part of her military service. Religious coercion at its best. Some mothers are just impossible to please. Go figure.

For further reading click here.

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BDS Movement Orders Chefs to Boycott Tel Aviv Event

The BDS movement is calling on world renown chefs who are scheduled to participate in a major culinary event in Tel Aviv to boycott it.

Some 26 top chefs and restaurateurs from famous restaurants around the world are expected to participate in the event, Open Tables, and cook in upscale restaurants in Tel Aviv throughout the month of November.

The BDS movement sent the chefs a letter signed by more than 130 civil society groups, stating: “We urge you to reconsider your involvement in this initiative aimed at using haute cuisine to mask Israel’s denial of Palestinian basic rights. Please cancel your participation in the Round Tables event until everyone has a place at the table.”

The letter went on about what they consider to be Israel’s war crimes, civil rights abuses, expulsions, apartheid … you name it and it was there. It ended with, “We urge you not to lend your culinary talents to mask Israel’s crimes.”

The organizers of the event wrote this in response: “The project will take place as planned. All the guest restaurants and chefs are on their way to Israel. Some of them have already landed in the country and have begun their activity in the hosting restaurants. All the international chefs are happy to take part in the initiative out of great interest and an acknowledgement of the developing culinary scene in Tel Aviv and Israel.”

Sounds amazing! Who wants to go to Tel Aviv?

For further reading click here.

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Israel News for November 23, 2015

More Terror
In Jerusalem today two girls, aged 14 and 16, stabbed a 70 year old Palestinian man from Bethlehem in the head and back with scissors near Machane Yehuda. A policeman shot at them, killing one and seriously wounding the other. Another security guard who ran to help was accidentally shot in the hand.

In Northern Samaria, an 18 yr. old yeshiva student was rammed by a car and lightly injured in a terror attack near the settlement of Chomesh. The terrorist drove off and is still at large.

For further reading click here.

Hadar Buchris
Hadar Buchris, a 21 year old woman from Tzfat, was stabbed to death by an Arab terrorist at a hitchhiking station at the same Gush Etzion junction where a terrorist shot and killed Ezra Schwartz and Yaakov Don on Friday. Soldiers shot and killed the terrorist, who was identified as 34-year-old Isam Thwabteh from Beit Fajar, a village near Bethlehem.

According to a witness to the attack, the Palestinian initially spoke with a soldier at the site before carrying out the stabbing. He had no previous record of criminal or terrorist activity.

Buchris was a graduate of the Nov Ulpana college in the Golan Heights. Ayala Eretz Hatzvi, a former teacher, said Buchris spent two years in national service in Moshav Hazorim and Sde Eliyahu after graduation. After a trip to India she moved to Gush Etzion and joined the girls seminary in Bat Ayin. “She was a lovely and beaming girl,” the teacher said.

Buchris will be laid to rest today at Har Hamenuchot in Jerusalem.

For further reading click here.

Car Takedown
Earlier on Sunday, Israelis waiting at a bus stop near the Hawara checkpoint outside of Nablus were attacked by an Arab woman with a knife. In the words of Abigail Shomriyah, 21, who was waiting at the stop, “I turned around and saw a terrorist with a large knife and murderous looking eyes. It was a very large knife. I ran in the direction of the soldiers, she ran after me.”

The former head of the Samaria Council, Gershon Mesika, happened to have stopped to pick up some hitchhikers when he saw the attack occurring. He stepped on the gas and rammed his car into the terrorist, knocking her down. Then another by-passer got out of his car and shot her twice. Then a soldier shot her twice. The terrorist was killed. No Israelis were injured.

Would it have made more sense for them to have captured the terrorist, who was already on the ground after being hit by the car, in order to interrogate her to find out who else, if anyone, was involved in planning the attack?

In another incident, a Palestinian taxi driver rammed into an Israeli car near Ma’aleh Adumim and got out of the cab with a 20-centimeter kitchen knife and lightly stabbed an Israeli at the scene in the hand. Two other Israelis who saw this, shot the terrorist and killed him.

The IDF has recently added two infantry battalions to bolster existing forces in Hevron and Gush Etzion. The army has also started checking every Palestinian vehicle on roads used by Israelis in the Hebron and Bethlehem areas. Random checks were implemented in the rest of the West Bank.

For further reading click here.

Berlin Retracts
Last week a major German department store based in Berlin removed all products made in the West Bank and the Golan from its shelves. The store claimed, on its Facebook page, that the wines had been temporarily removed so the importer could relabel them in accordance with new European Union rules that require products originating in the West Bank and Golan be distinctly labeled.

Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t seem to view the move as temporary. He lashed out at the store saying, “This store was owned by Jews, and the Nazis took it away. Ironically, this store is now marking products from Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights.” He added, “It began with marking products, and now we have been told that the products have been removed – a boycott for all intents and purposes. We strongly protest this morally, factually, and historically unacceptable measure. We expect the German government, which opposed marking the products, to take action in this serious matter.”

Yesterday, the store announced that it was retracting its decision saying, “We acted too hastily and insensitively. We regret this mistaken behavior, which has led to misunderstanding, and we wish to apologize for it.” They also noted that they offer customers over 200 Israeli made products.

Question: if the store did actually just remove the products temporarily for relabeling, was the PM justified in calling the move a boycott and invoking Holocaust comparisons to bolster his point?

For further reading click here.

Car Wars
The motto of car rental giant Avis used to be “we try harder”. It looks like that doesn’t apply to Israeli customers. According to a report in the NY Observer, the Avis branch on 76th and Broadway in Manhattan refused to rent a car to the Senior Vice President of Israeli pharmaceutical conglomerate Teva, Dov Bergwerk, and his wife.

The Israeli couple were renting a car to visit friends in Westchester when the Avis agent on duty, and her manager, refused to honor their reservation on the grounds that Avis did not recognize Israeli documents.

After he phoned customer service who confirmed that Israeli documents were acceptable, the Avis representatives changed course and argued that Bergwerk was being refused because he had argued about the way he was being treated in front of other customers (Ok, the arguing I believe, but in this case it seems like he had every right to argue in the face of anti-Israel discrimination).

Bergwerk said, “The agent stated that the Israeli license did not have the required info in English. I tried to demonstrate that the license had all the required info but she and the manager had no interest. Similarly, the fact that I have had many rentals at Avis and at this location was dismissed as having been ‘done by new employees.”

Avis had no comment on the incident. Do you think the employees were fired? Maybe it’s time to go with Hertz or Budget, at least on the Upper West Side.

For further reading click here.

New Towns
The government yesterday approved five new towns in the Negev, despite strong opposition from the Finance Ministry, environmental organizations and some of the local councils.

Minister of Housing and Construction Yoav Galant, who presented the plan to the government, defended the plan saying there will be minimal environmental impact as the towns will be built using existing infrastructure. In response to the argument that they should be investing in the existing towns, he explained that the government would continue to support existing towns but the new towns would strengthen the Negev in general. “Establishing these five towns is essential in strengthening our hold on unpopulated areas in the Negev with great national importance”.

One of the towns will be called Daniel, after the four year old Daniel Turgeman who was killed by mortar fire during operation Defensive Shield last year.

Shai Hajiji, head of the Mirchavim Regional Council, welcomed the decision saying it presented an “attractive alternative to the increase in housing costs in Israel”. I guess that depends on if you consider living in the Negev as an attractive alternative.

For further reading click here.

Iran Storms Temple Mount
In a simulated war game exercise, the paramilitary unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard stormed and “liberated” a replica of the Dome of the Rock. According to Iranian state media, thousands of soldiers participated in Friday’s exercise outside the holy city of Qom in central Iran.

The symbolic operations were backed up by Guard helicopters, drones and Tucano planes that bombed hypothetical enemy positions before ground troops captured the replica of the mosque set up at the top of a mountain.

Dream on.

For further reading click here.

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Israel News for November 20, 2015

Tel Aviv Terror
Two Israelis were killed and one wounded in a stabbing attack at the Panorama Building in South Tel Aviv yesterday. The attack took place outside a makeshift synagogue in the building during afternoon services. The men inside the synagogue were able to shut the doors on the terrorist and prevent him from entering.

The two men killed were identified as Aharon Asayev, a 32-year-old from Holon, and Reuven Aviram, a 51-year-old from Ramle.

Friends of Asayev described him as a hardworking and God fearing man who returned to Jewish religious observance and built a beautiful family with five children. His oldest daughter is in first grade. Asayev’s older brother also works in the Panorama building and it was his birthday. They were planning to celebrate in a nearby restaurant.

Reuven Aviram was described as an exceptional father and husband who was very knowledgable and loved to read. He had one 27 year old son, who found out about his father’s murder from a video sent to him via What’sApp.

The terrorist was a 36-year-old resident of Dura, close to Hevron, with no previous criminal record. He worked at a restaurant in Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv, and held a legal work permit. The terrorist was apprehended by police.

For further reading click here.

Gush Terror
Yesterday afternoon, a Palestinian terrorist drove his car alongside a minivan stuck in a traffic jam near Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion and opened fire with an Uzi submachine gun. He then drove on and fired at other cars until he crashed into another car and was shot by security forces. Two Jews and one Palestinian (who was accidentally shot) were killed in the attack.

One of the victims was Ezra Schwartz, an 18 year old US citizen from Sharon, Massachusetts who was taking a year off to study at Yeshiva Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh.

Ezra and other students from the yeshiva were in a minivan on their way to deliver snacks to Israel Defense Forces soldiers. Schwartz was a recent graduate of the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA, where most students take a gap year to study in Israel after graduating. He will be flown back to Boston for burial.

The second Jewish victim was Yaakov Don, 49, a teacher from Alon Shvut. Don was married and the father of four children. His parents were Holocaust survivors. Thousands of mourners, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein attended his funeral earlier today.

For further reading click here
and here.

Faster Network
According to the Associated Press, Israel has signed an agreement granting Palestinian mobile phone carriers 3G high-speed data services in the West Bank. Palestinians have had 2G access since 1998. The agreement will not extend to 4G or include Gaza. Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Netanyahu, says it’s meant to facilitate economic development.

Is anyone else worried that this might make it easier for the bad guys to spread incitement on social media and coordinate more sophisticated attacks? Hopefully, the IDF and Shin Bet are on top of that.

For further reading click here.

Pollard Released
Jonathan Pollard, 61, was released today from a federal prison in North Carolina after serving 30 years of a life sentence for selling American intelligence secrets to Israel. The details of where he will be living and working are still being kept private.

According to his parole conditions, Pollard will be barred from traveling outside of the country, including Israel, without permission. He will also probably have to abide by a curfew, wear a GPS tracking unit and stay off the internet. That could make it hard for Pollard to work at a job, although his lawyers said back in July that they had secured employment and housing for him in the New York area.

According to Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom, PM Netanyahu has asked the US government to allow Pollard to move to Israel immediately. Two New York congressmen, Reps. Eliot Engel and Jerrold Nadler, have also written U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, saying that Pollard should be allowed to renounce his American citizenship and emigrate to Israel.

The Free Pollard campaign has decided not to hold any public rallies or other events to mark his release, and Pollard’s associates have asked Knesset members and other public figures in Israel not to fly to the United States to meet him when he is freed. Netanyahu has also instructed government officials to stay relatively quiet about Pollard’s release. No one wants to give US authorities any excuse to worsen his parole conditions.

The Prime Minister did issue a statement confirming his release saying, “The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan Pollard. As someone who has raised the issue for many years with American presidents, I have dreamt of this day.”

For further reading click here.

Deli Out
In the wake of the World Health Organization’s report, which warned that processed meats contain carcinogens that cause cancer, the Rami Levy discount supermarket chain has decided to close down all its deli counters and replace them with fresh fish counters. The supermarket insists that their decision had nothing to do with the report.

Rami Levy, Israel’s third largest supermarket chain, has already closed the deli counters in about half of its 34 branches and will complete the process by the end of Q1 2016. The stores will continue to sell packaged cold cuts.

Whatever their reasons, their shoppers will now have the choice of eating healthier (yes, fresh fish is healthier than cold cuts), and that’s a good thing.

For further reading click here.

Street closures
If you’re planning to drive in Jerusalem on Shabbat, you better map your route out ahead of time. According to municipal records there are currently 264 Jerusalem streets that are blocked off to traffic, including bicycles, on Shabbat.

All streets in primarily Haredi neighborhoods are closed including Mea Shearim, Geula, Bukharian Quarter, Sha’arei Hesed, Beit Yisrael, Sanhedria, Tel Arza, Kiryat Sanz, Kerem Avraham, Har Nof, Bayit Ve’gan and Ramat Shlomo.

Mixed neighborhoods that have major closures include Ramot, Givat Mordechai and Nachlaot.

If you’re looking for a quiet Shabbat experience, you know where to go.

For further reading click here.

Israel News for Friday November 20, 2015

Tel Aviv Terror
Two Israelis were killed and one wounded in a stabbing attack at the Panorama Building in South Tel Aviv yesterday. The attack took place outside a makeshift synagogue in the building during afternoon services. The men inside the synagogue were able to shut the doors on the terrorist and prevent him from entering.

The two men killed were identified as Aharon Asayev, a 32-year-old from Holon, and Reuven Aviram, a 51-year-old from Ramle.

Friends of Asayev described him as a hardworking and God fearing man who returned to Jewish religious observance and built a beautiful family with five children. His oldest daughter is in first grade. Asayev’s older brother also works in the Panorama building and it was his birthday. They were planning to celebrate in a nearby restaurant.

Reuven Aviram was described as an exceptional father and husband who was very knowledgable and loved to read. He had one 27 year old son, who found out about his father’s murder from a video sent to him via What’sApp.

The terrorist was a 36-year-old resident of Dura, close to Hevron, with no previous criminal record. He worked at a restaurant in Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv, and held a legal work permit. The terrorist was apprehended by police.

For further reading click here.

Gush Terror
Yesterday afternoon, a Palestinian terrorist drove his car alongside a minivan stuck in a traffic jam near Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion and opened fire with an Uzi submachine gun. He then drove on and fired at other cars until he crashed into another car and was shot by security forces. Two Jews and one Palestinian (who was accidentally shot) were killed in the attack.

One of the victims was Ezra Schwartz, an 18 year old US citizen from Sharon, Massachusetts who was taking a year off to study at Yeshiva Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh.

Ezra and other students from the yeshiva were in a minivan on their way to deliver snacks to Israel Defense Forces soldiers. Schwartz was a recent graduate of the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA, where most students take a gap year to study in Israel after graduating. He will be flown back to Boston for burial.

The second Jewish victim was Yaakov Don, 49, a teacher from Alon Shvut. Don was married and the father of four children. His parents were Holocaust survivors. Thousands of mourners, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein attended his funeral earlier today.

For further reading click here
and here.

Faster Network
According to the Associated Press, Israel has signed an agreement granting Palestinian mobile phone carriers 3G high-speed data services in the West Bank. Palestinians have had 2G access since 1998. The agreement will not extend to 4G or include Gaza. Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Netanyahu, says it’s meant to facilitate economic development.

Is anyone else worried that this might make it easier for the bad guys to spread incitement on social media and coordinate more sophisticated attacks? Hopefully, the IDF and Shin Bet are on top of that.

For further reading click here.

Pollard Released
Jonathan Pollard, 61, was released today from a federal prison in North Carolina after serving 30 years of a life sentence for selling American intelligence secrets to Israel. The details of where he will be living and working are still being kept private.

According to his parole conditions, Pollard will be barred from traveling outside of the country, including Israel, without permission. He will also probably have to abide by a curfew, wear a GPS tracking unit and stay off the internet. That could make it hard for Pollard to work at a job, although his lawyers said back in July that they had secured employment and housing for him in the New York area.

According to Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom, PM Netanyahu has asked the US government to allow Pollard to move to Israel immediately. Two New York congressmen, Reps. Eliot Engel and Jerrold Nadler, have also written U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, saying that Pollard should be allowed to renounce his American citizenship and emigrate to Israel.

The Free Pollard campaign has decided not to hold any public rallies or other events to mark his release, and Pollard’s associates have asked Knesset members and other public figures in Israel not to fly to the United States to meet him when he is freed. Netanyahu has also instructed government officials to stay relatively quiet about Pollard’s release. No one wants to give US authorities any excuse to worsen his parole conditions.

The Prime Minister did issue a statement confirming his release saying, “The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan Pollard. As someone who has raised the issue for many years with American presidents, I have dreamt of this day.”

For further reading click here.

Deli Out
In the wake of the World Health Organization’s report, which warned that processed meats contain carcinogens that cause cancer, the Rami Levy discount supermarket chain has decided to close down all its deli counters and replace them with fresh fish counters. The supermarket insists that their decision had nothing to do with the report.

Rami Levy, Israel’s third largest supermarket chain, has already closed the deli counters in about half of its 34 branches and will complete the process by the end of Q1 2016. The stores will continue to sell packaged cold cuts.

Whatever their reasons, their shoppers will now have the choice of eating healthier (yes, fresh fish is healthier than cold cuts), and that’s a good thing.

For further reading click here.

Street closures
If you’re planning to drive in Jerusalem on Shabbat, you better map your route out ahead of time. According to municipal records there are currently 264 Jerusalem streets that are blocked off to traffic, including bicycles, on Shabbat.

All streets in primarily Haredi neighborhoods are closed including Mea Shearim, Geula, Bukharian Quarter, Sha’arei Hesed, Beit Yisrael, Sanhedria, Tel Arza, Kiryat Sanz, Kerem Avraham, Har Nof, Bayit Ve’gan and Ramat Shlomo.

Mixed neighborhoods that have major closures include Ramot, Givat Mordechai and Nachlaot.

If you’re looking for a quiet Shabbat experience, you know where to go.

For further reading click here.

Get the Israel News email every morning and stay connected to #Israel. Click To Tweet

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surrounded by Knesset members after a vote on the state budget for 2015-2016, November 18, 2015.

Israel News for November 19, 2015

Budget Finally Passes
Knesset members had a rough night last night, staying up till the early hours of the morning to vote on Israel’s 2015-2016 budget. After many long hours of debates, which began in the afternoon, the budget was approved by a slim majority of 61 in favor to 59 against. The final vote took place after the lawmakers voted on over 1,500 different pages of objections, covering over 30,000 specific reservations to the budget, which required over 420 different votes.

The voting got off to a rough start when the electronic voting system kept breaking, causing chaos. There was also a fair share of confusion when opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog accidentally voted in favor of the government on one of the objections, to the amusement of PM Netanyahu and some ministers. But then Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel also mistakenly cast his ballot with the opposition, breaking the government’s slim majority of one. The specific paragraph being voted on then needed to be taken back to the Knesset Economic Committee to be approved before being brought back to the floor for a “do-over”, resulting in a three hour delay.

By law, the government had to pass the budget by today or the government would have fallen. The opposition attempted to delay the voting by insisting on voting on every article but the government managed to push through a shortened voting process, preventing a filibuster by the opposition which would have include the 30,000 reservations and would have take 11 days to vote on.

Opposition to the budget was fierce. Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid said at the start of the Knesset budget debate, “This is not a debate It’s a party for the chevra. Today a budget will be approved where everyone is getting something except the citizens of Israel”. Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog said, “The Prime Minister doesn’t care that it’s impossible to live here with a rising cost of living and no solution to the housing crisis”.

The two year budget provides for 383.8 billion shekels ($98.2 billion) in 2015 spending and 424.8 billion shekels ($108.6 billion) in 2016. The 2015 budget was never approved because Netanyahu’s governing coalition broke up, which led to elections.

For further reading click here.

Hitting Back
Israel is planning to strike back at EU countries who have decided to distinctly label Israeli products made in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan.

The countries Israel plans to take measures against are the UK, France, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Croatia, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Slovenia, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium and Finland.

The measures Israel plans to use include a re-evaluation of the EU’s role in the peace process, summoning the ambassadors of the 16 countries to the Foreign Ministry for an official rebuke, and restricting meetings between ambassadors and Israeli officials.

Israel will also be much stricter regarding entry of foreign delegations to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In certain situations, their entry may even be denied. Same goes for EU projects in those areas.

Finally, Israel will limit dialogue with the EU on matters important to the Europeans such as terror fighting techniques.

However, Israel is being careful not to hurt itself in the process. According to a senior government source, “It would be foolish to take steps that will also harm us. We had to walk a tightrope between things we wanted to do so that they would get the message and not hurting ourselves.”

For further reading click here.

Baby Race
The doomsayers have always predicted the demise of the Jewish State based on a rapidly increasing Arab population along with a decreasing or stagnant Jewish one. Well, it looks like they might need to rethink their forecast.

According the statistics just released by Israel’s Central Bureau of statistics, the birthrate of Jewish and Arab women in Israel is about even. At the end of 2014, Jewish women in Israel had a birth rate of 3.11 children and Arab women had a birth rate of 3.17 children. Slightly more than a decade ago, there was nearly a two-child gap in the birthrate, with Arab women at 4.3 compared to Jewish women at 2.6.

These numbers don’t include Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But still, the numbers are something to smile about. Maybe the future isn’t that bleak after all.

For further reading click here.

Israel’s Rich
Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics has released new figures that prove that a significant portion of Israelis aren’t doing too bad financially, despite what you hear.

According to the survey figures, the proportion of households owning two or more apartments rose from 3.2% to 9.1%, primarily since 2008. The figures also show that 44,000 households, or 1.8% of all Israeli households, own three or more apartments. And apartments in Israel are not cheap.

At the same time, the figures show that the proportion of people renting homes is rising while the percentage of homeowners is declining, which underscores that many Israelis can’t afford home prices, which are only going higher. On the bright side, with all those Israelis owning second and third apartments, there’s bound to be a plentiful supply of rentals.

For further reading click here.

Flying High
Israeli high-tech companies aren’t the only ones with turbo charged growth. El Al airlines just announced that their net profit for the third quarter of 2015 was up 820% over profits in the same quarter last year. Reasons for the surge include substantially lower oil prices and a lot more passengers. To be fair, last year’s third quarter included Operation Protective Shield, which caused a drop in travelers to Israel. But still, let’s give EL AL a high five. Now if they could only get the flight attendants to be little nicer.

For further reading click here.

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Israel News for November 18, 2015

Terrorist Killed
IDF soldiers from the Haredi “Netzah Yehuda” battalion on a routine patrol came under fire from three Palestinian gunmen near the West Bank town of Turmus Ayya yesterday.

The soldiers were in a military vehicle. The terrorists pulled up in a car, got out and opened fire. The soldiers returned fire, killing one terrorist and wounding the other two. None of the soldiers were injured.

Earlier today, the Shin Bet announced that seven residents of Jaljulia, an Israeli Arab town near Kfar Saba, were arrested for planning to join and fight for ISIS in Syria. Two of them were related to the Israeli Arab who paraglided into Syria from the Golan several weeks ago.

For further reading click here.

PA vs. Terror
Apparently, the Palestinian Authority is now doing it’s part to curb the wave of terror. The governor of Jenin, Ibrahim Ramadan, told Ynet that Palestinian forces recently thwarted three attempted stabbing attacks at the Gilboa crossing next to Jenin. Plainclothes Palestinian security personnel who were stationed on the Palestinian side of the crossing in order to prevent stabbing attacks, arrested three women before they managed to carry out their attacks.

Before these undercover officers were deployed, there were four attempted stabbings at that very crossing during the recent wave of terror. According to PA officials, Palestinian security personnel also intervene when there is unrest in the West Bank to prevent any shooting at the IDF and Border Police.

The IDF also think that Abbas is reigning in the violence. A month ago IDF intelligence said that Abu Mazen (Abbas) is not inciting attacks on Israelis and is even instructing his forces to take action against violence. There is currently ongoing cooperation between Palestinian security officers and the IDF to restore the calm.

For further reading click here.

Israel’s Bride
Sara Techiya Litman, who lost her father Rav Yaakov Litman and brother Netanel in the shooting attack last Friday, was meant to get married last night. Instead she is sitting shiva. But she told Ynet, “we will not let terrorism destroy us” and that the wedding has been rescheduled for next Thursday at Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem. Sara Techiya and her fiance Ariel called on the public to come celebrate with them saying, “all of the Jewish People are invited to arise with us from the dust and rejoice in our celebration”.

Last night, an evening of enrichment and learning for women was organized at the wedding hall where the wedding was meant to take place in order to provide inspiration and support during these difficult times. Speakers included Rabbanit Yemima Mizrahi, Chief Rabbi of Tzfat Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Meitar and father of the groom Rav Beigel and other public figures..

For further reading click here.

Soldiers Protest
A couple of weeks ago we told you about the synagogue in Givat Ze’ev that that High Court ordered to demolish on the grounds that it was built on privately owned Palestinian land. The court subsequently postponed the demolition based on a request by the government claiming that the demolition would incite violence by Jewish extremists. The deadline the court set for the demolition to take place is this coming Thursday. The government has come to a compromise agreement with the community, pledging to build a new synagogue nearby. But there is still much opposition to the destruction of the synagogue.

In an unprecedented demonstration of protest, a new Facebook page has photos of IDF soldiers and Border Police holding signs saying, “I too won’t demolish a synagogue.” The signs cover the faces of the IDF and police personnel, but their uniforms are clearly visible. One sign said: “Mosques and churches are not demolished but synagogues are? Have you gone mad?”

Among the units represented on the Facebook page are the Border Police, the Tank Corps, the Golani Brigade, the G’dud 46 Brigade, the Kfir Brigade and field intelligence.

IDF soldiers are not expected to be used in the demolition, which will be carried out by Police and Border Police personnel.

Some hardline rabbis have issued statements prohibiting soldiers from following orders to demolish the synagogue. Will any of the security forces assigned the unpleasant task choose to disobey orders?

For further reading click here.

Survey Says
A survey conducted by Haifa University Sociology Professor Sami Samucha, who is an Israeli Arab, reveals some disturbing results.

According to the survey, 57% of Arab citizens of Israel feel that the recently outlawed Islamic Movement in Israel faithfully represents them. The movement incites violence related to the Temple Mount and has connections to Hamas. The survey also reveals that 18.2% of Arab Muslim citizens of Israel, and 28.1% of all supporters of the Islamic Movement, do not consider ISIS to be a radical terrorist organization, and are not ashamed of the group.

Prof. Samucha commented that the high level of support for ISIS is very troubling, particularly given that the Arab leadership in Israel and leaders of the Islamic Movement have strongly denounced the group. You think?

Upshot
The Israeli government, and the majority of Israelis, have always asserted that Israeli Arabs are loyal to the state. Is this just a delusion? If Samucha’s survey is accurate, Israel might need to rethink the way it views its Arab citizens.

For further reading click here.

Restricted Videos
Several weeks ago Israel agreed to allow the Jordanian controlled Waqf, the Muslim religious authority that administers the Temple Mount area, to place video cameras on the Mount. The cameras are meant to defuse tensions by serving as a tool to monitor Israel’s observance of the “status quo”, which prohibits non Muslims from praying on the Temple Mount. The initiative was praised by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Well, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has thrown a wrench in the seemingly well intentioned plan. The King has announced that he intends to personally monitor the video footage from the cameras and decide which segments will be released to be seen by Israel and the world.

In response to Abdullah’s announcement, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) has called on Netanyahu to cancel the camera initiative until it is agreed to place cameras in all corners of the Mount, including the mosques, and Israel is promised full access to the footage.

In a letter to the PM Ariel wrote, “Not installing cameras in the Al-Aqsa Mosque means immunity…for the rock hoarders and throwers from inside the mosque. For the firecracker shooters, and all the inciters.”

He added, “Giving the Kingdom of Jordan, a foreign sovereign state, the right to run security cameras on the Temple Mount, without any cooperation with the Israeli Police, means one thing: an additional significant concession on the degree of Israel’s sovereignty on the Temple Mount.”

In a related story, the Jordanian King’s office is looking to hire some talented video editors.

For further reading click here.

Dutch Join Swedes
Yesterday we reported about the controversy surrounding the Swedish Foreign Minister’s apparent attempt to connect the ISIS terror attack in Paris to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Now the chairman of the Dutch Socialist Party in the Netherlands, Jan Marijnissen, has followed in her footsteps.

Referring to ISIS in a radio interview, Marijnissen said, “Their behavior eventually is connected also to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” and that the conflict in Israel “is the growth medium for such an attack.”

Will the next anti-semite in the European political leadership please stand up.

For further reading click here.

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