Israel News for 7-31-17

Tisha B’av
Tisha B’av, the 9th day in the month of Av, commemorates the date that both the first and second Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed, first by the Babylonians in 586 BC and then by the Romans in 70 AD. Tisha B’av will be observed tonight (Monday) and Tuesday (until sundown) with fasting, reciting lamentations, and other displays of mourning. In Israel most restaurants and entertainment venues are closed.

The Talmud attributes the reason for the destruction of the Second Temple to baseless hatred. The political and social situation in Israel at the time of the destruction was rife was infighting and strife. Instead of focusing on fighting the Romans, the various Jewish factions fought and killed each other before finally uniting to face the Romans, when it was already much too late. Had the Jews been united, perhaps the destruction, even the war itself, could have been avoided.

The destruction of the Second Temple marked the start of a close to 2,000 year period of statelessness and exile, filled with persecution and massacres, and culminating in the ultimate horror of the Holocaust.

Now we have returned to our homeland, reestablished our sovereignty over it (more or less, despite the efforts of most of the world to keep us vulnerable) and made it thrive. We have a second chance to correct the mistakes we made the first time around. If we can unite and exist in (relative) harmony, we can remain invincible in our land forever.

This is the message, and challenge, of Tisha B’av, and why we continue to commemorate the day of our greatest defeat (what other nation commemorates defeat?).

Will we learn our lesson and correct the mistake of Tisha B’av? That’s a question that only we can answer.

May this be the last Tisha B’av we commemorate, and may we come together as one family, one people, in unity and harmony, to continue to build our homeland and our destiny in peace.

For more information about Tisha B’av click here (

IDF Adapting
As technical continues to play a greater role in modern warfare and the type of potential conflicts in the region evolve, the IDF is planning on making major changes to adapt.

To read a (very) long article explaining the changes being planned by the IDF, click here.

Appeal Rejected
The Military Court of Appeals yesterday rejected both appeals in the Elor Azaria trial, upholding the manslaughter conviction and 18-month sentence given to the former soldier who shot dead a neutralized Palestinian terrorist during his IDF service in Hebron.

Defense Minister Lieberman has urged the family not to file further appeals but to instead ask for a pardon from IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot. PM Netanyahu seems to agree with Lieberman. Eisenkot said yesterday that any request for appeal to him would be “seriously considered.”

For further reading click here.,7340,L-4996455,00.html

Pizza Defense [Video]
What do you do when a terrorist attacks you in your pizza shop? When a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a bus driver last week in Shlomi Madar’s pizza store in Petah Tikva and then tried to stab him, Shlomi fought back.

To watch what Shalom Madar did, click here.

Final Gift
Last week 19 year old Ofek Klugman, a member of an elite IDF command unit, died in Rmabam Hospital in Haifa as a result of injuries sustained in a bike accident. His family decided to donate his organs to save the lives of others.

Klugman’s heart was implanted in a 65 year old man. His liver went to a 51 year old man. Both of his lungs went to a 35 year old woman. One of his kidneys went to a 47 year old man and other to a 15 year old boy. All of those who received the transplants are reported to be in good condition.

Klugman, from Nazareth Illit, was an Israeli boxing champion who chose to serve in an IDF combat unit rather than in a special unit where he could continue his boxing training.

In his death, he managed to save five lives.

For further reading click here.

Israel News for 7-27-17 [VIDEO]

Everyone needs an occasional break from reading, especially in the slow summer months. So for a change, we decided to curate some videos to keep you informed and interested.

Metal Detectors Out
As we reported yesterday, the government has decided to remove the metal detectors from the gates to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This video shows the police removing them.

To view video click here.

Not Good Enough
The removal of the metal detectors might not be good enough for the Palestinians. The Waqf have called for continued protests until ALL security measures are removed. Late breaking reports say that the Mufti of Jerusalem has, in fact, given Muslims the green light to enter the Temple Mount. It’s unclear yet whether or not that reflects the position of the Waqf too.

To view video click here.

Arab Celebrations
Despite the Waqf’s continued refusal to allow worshippers to resume entering the Temple Mount, the Arab population celebrated what they view as a major victory of Israel. The best way to understand this is through the eyes of Al jazeera in this video.

To view video click here.

Christian View
It’s important to understand the fundamentalist Christian view on the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount. This video explains that belief and what’s being done to make it come to fruition
To view video click here.

Operation Good Neighbor
This IDF video brings to light some of the help that Israel has been providing to Syrian refugees in Operation Good neighbor.

To view video click here.

hebron cave of machpela

Israel News for 7-26-17

House Reoccupied
Around a hundred settlers have moved into the Machpela House in Hebron. The ownership of the house has been disputed. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim ownership over the five story structure.

The group’s spokesman Shlomo Levinger said the decision to occupy the structure was made in response to “government zig-zagging” regarding violence surrounding the Temple Mount.

PM Netanyahu has ordered the Defense Minister not to evict the settlers (for the time being).

Jews were evicted from the building in 2012, when the Civil Administration claimed that they did not have sufficient evidence to prove ownership.

For further reading click here.

Shin Bet Speaks
Shin Bet (Israel’s version of the FBI) Director Nadav Argaman expressed his approval of the cabinet decision to remove the Temple Mount metal detectors and cameras. He said, “Against the complicated and emotional background of the Temple Mount site, the cabinet decision balances many complicated considerations and it was the most appropriate decision for the security of the state and its citizens.”

Not all Israeli security officials agree. During the cabinet meeting, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh warned, “If we surrender to this baseless claim of logic and remove the metal detectors and cameras, it will only give the Waqf an appetite for success.” He also claimed that without metal detectors the situation will deteriorate further and all other inspection methods will only be more invasive. Both the IDF and Shin Bet urged the government to remove the metal detectors in order to avoid the risk of a third intifada.

According to a Channel 2 News poll published yesterday, 77 percent of participants responded “yes” when asked whether the removal of the metal detectors constituted capitulation, while 17 percent said “no” and six percent said they didn’t know.

When asked whether it was the right decision to place the metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount in the first place, 68 percent said “yes,” 23 percent said “no” and nine percent said they didn’t know.

Regardless of Israel’s moves to diffuse the situation, the Palestinians, lead by the Waqf, have rejected any new security arrangements and continue to order worshippers not to enter the Temple Mount. Last night thousands gathered for prayer outside the Lion’s Gate. After prayers some worshippers threw rocks and bottles at police.

Palestinian leaders are calling for large demonstrations outside the Temple Mount on Friday.

For further reading click here.

Terrorist Corpses
Israel’s Supreme Court yesterday ordered police to return the bodies of the three terrorists who murdered two Israeli policemen outside the Temple Mount to their families for burial. The funerals will be held at the Farouk Mosque in Umm al-Fahm (in northern Israel), where the three terrorists are from.

The court allowed police to set restrictions to the funerals to ensure public order and prevent clashes and violent rioting.The police have insisted that the funerals be held in the middle of the night with a limited amount of participants, but the families have refused to commit to those terms.

For further reading click here.

No Entry
The Israeli Government has cracked down on enforcing a law that bans anti-Israel activists from entering the country. The law states that Israel will deny entry and residence to “senior or significant officials in prominent boycott organizations, people who take active, consistent and continuous action to promote boycotts within the framework of prominent or independent boycott organizations, institutions that promote boycotts actively and continuously and activists who come to Israel on behalf of one of the most prominent boycott organizations.”

Yesterday five American Jewish, Christian and Muslim BDS activists were informed at their departure points in the US that they would not be permitted to enter Israel. The five American leaders who were barred from entry were from the advocacy groups Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine and the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, which is active within the Presbyterian Church (USA), a Protestant denomination that voted three years ago to divest from some companies in protest of Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

This is the first time that Israel has enforced this anti-BDS regulation.

For further reading click here.

Petah Tikva Stabbing

Israel News for 7-25-17

Terror Attack
A 21-year-old Palestinian from the town of Ar’ara, who was illegally residing in Israel, stabbed a 35 year old Israeli Arab (who he apparently thought was Jewish) multiple times at a shwarma shop near Petah Tikva’s Central Bus Station. The victim, an Egged bus driver, was rushed to Rabin Medical Center with serious wounds to the upper body and neck. The terrorist was captured and arrested. He told police that that he “did it for Al-Aqsa.”

The terrorist reportedly tried to escape down a side street, but we was spotted by a driver who rammed into him with his car.

To view a security video of the attack click here.

Metal Detectors Out
The Security Cabinet decided last night to remove the metal detectors from the entrances to the Temple Mount and replace them with other advanced “smart” inspection devices. The removal began late last night.

The timetable for the installation of the new inspection equipment is expected to be six months and has been allocated a budget of NIS 100 million. Until the installation is complete, the police presence in the area will be significantly increased and the surveillance cameras installed there yesterday will continue to function.

The cabinet’s decision comes in the wake of a visit by US envoy Jason Greenblatt, who met with PM Netanyahu in Jerusalem yesterday along with US Ambassador Friedman.

Also yesterday, Jordan’s King Abdullah asked the PM in a phone call Monday to remove the metal detectors and “stressed the need to find an immediate solution and remove the causes of the ongoing crisises in Al-Haram Al-Sharif, ensure the return of the situation to what it was before the outbreak, and ensure the full opening of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Arab media is reporting the the Waqf is opposed to the new security proposal.

For further reading click here.

Terror Arrests
Early this morning Israeli security forces arrested the mother of the terrorist who murdered three Israelis in the settlement of Halamish last Friday night on suspicion of incitement to violence, after she made repeated calls for terror attacks against Jews.

In other operations overnight, Israeli security forces arrested 26 wanted suspects across Judea and Samaria, including 22 terrorists suspected of violent attacks on Israeli civilians and security forces.

For further reading click here.

Jordan Incident
The entire diplomatic staff at the Israeli embassy in Jordan, including the security guard who shot and killed the terrorist who stabbed him, arrived safely back in Israel yesterday. The Prime Minister’s Office said the return of the Israeli diplomatic staff was made possible thanks to close cooperation between Israel and Jordan.

Netanyahu met with the security guard in his office today and said, “I am happy to see you here and that things ended the way they did. You acted well, calmly, and we also had an obligation to get you out. This was not even a question. It was only a question of time and I am pleased that it was short.”

For further reading click here.

Israel News for 7-24-17

Terror and Funeral
Yesterday I joined thousands of Israelis, including government ministers and officials, at the funeral of Yossi Salomon (70), his daughter Chaya (46) and son Elad (36) as they were laid to rest in the Modiin Cemetery. The three were stabbed to death as they finished their Friday night Shabbat dinner at the family home in Halamish (Neve Tzuf), Samaria by a 19 year old Palestinian terrorist. The settlement is right near Ramallah.

The terrorist, from a nearby village, called the settlement’s security fence wearing a white shirt (commonly worn by observant Jews in Israel on Shabbat), in order not to draw attention if he was noticed. He performed some sort of purification ceremony using bottles of water that he brought, and then walked to the Salomon house and knocked on the front door, brandishing a large knife.

The Salomon family had gathered to celebrate the birth of a grandchild, so they were expecting many guests to join them after dinner. Chaya opened the door and the terrorist stabbed her. She managed to run outside screaming for help before succumbing to her wounds. The terrorist entered and came upon Tova, Yossi’s 68 year old wife (Chaya and Elad’s mother). At first she thought he was guest since he was wearing a white shirt and she asked him who he was. He smiled at her and stabbed her in the back. She managed to escape upstairs. Then the terrorist stabbed Yossi to death in the kitchen and then attempted to get upstairs.

While the massacre was taking place Elad’s wife Michal managed to quickly take her three children into a room upstairs and lock the door. According to his mother’s testimony, Elad fought the terrorist to prevent him from going up the stairs.

Chaya’s screams had alerted a neighbor who was a member of an elite IDF unit. He ran to the home and managed to shoot and neutralize the terrorist through a window.

The IDF is investigating how the terrorist was able to climb the fence and continue to the Salomon undetected. Apparently an alarm was triggered when the terrorist scaled the fence and a settlement security patrol was dispatched to investigate, but when they noticed no breach they did not alert the IDF or trigger a general alarm. The entire incident, from the terrorist’s scaling the fence until he was shot and neutralized, lasted 14 minutes. He was in the house for approximately 4 minutes. Residents of Halamish are demanding that the IDF install security cameras along the entire security fence.

While the IDF is ultimately responsible for security of the settlement, the settlement’s internal security force is usually the first to make contact with intruders.

The Defense Ministry issued a statement saying, “In the past year, the defense establishment has been carrying out extensive work to strengthen the security components of Halamish. Within this framework, the settlement has already been surrounded by an electric fence. The last part of the project was planned, regardless of the murderous attack, to be carried out in the near future.”

At his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu said the killer’s home would be demolished swiftly in retribution and those who incited and glorified his act would be dealt with.

Regarding the funeral, it was relatively quiet. There were no calls for revenge, there was no incitement, there were no demonstrations or protests. Perhaps there should have been. Perhaps we Jews should be taking forceful action to permanently end the constant terror and murder. Perhaps we should once and for all say “never again” and mean it.

But the funeral was a time for mourning our losses and praying for a better future.

Temple Mount
Israel has begun installing security cameras around the perimeter of the Temple Mount, which could potentially take the place of the metal detectors that have stirred the recent unrest. Last night Muslim worshippers rioted at the Lion’s Gate, at the entrance to the Temple Mount. Muslims have refused to walk through the metal detectors to enter the Temple Mount and are instead holding their prayers services outside the perimeter. PA President Abbas announced a freeze on all relations with Israel on Friday.

Why are the Muslims so upset about the metal detectors? It obviously makes sense to install them. They’re at the entrance to the Western Wall. And the majority of Muslims don’t want weapons and terror in their holy places. So why the uproar about the metal detectors?

It’s not about the detectors. It’s about Israeli rule. You see, the administration of the Temple Mount is under the control of the Waqf, which is the Muslim religious authority. The “protector” of the religious shrines and mosques on the mount is officially the King of Jordan. So even though everyone knows quite well that Israel has ultimate control over the area, and that it is part of Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, as long as administrative authority remains in Muslim hands, the Muslims can imagine that they are in control of their holy places and that keeps them placated. We call this the “status quo”.

The placement of metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount is a clear display of Israeli rule over the area. And there’s no way the Muslims can ever accept Jews (or Christians) controlling their holy places. It goes against their core beliefs and their Koran (which calls for Jihad – holy war to spread Islamic control over the entire world).

So it’s not about security. It’s about ownership. Which is why the IDF and the Shin Bet have been recommending that the metal detectors be removed, since their pretense is inciting the Palestinian population to violence and unrest. But doing so would constitute a show of weakness and send the message that Israel doesn’t actually have ownership over the Temple Mount.

What is the answer? They haven’t found one just yet.

Honest Reporting
The media watch group Honest Reporting posted a video explaining the recent chain of events beginning with the terror attack and murder of two Israeli policemen to the vicious terror attack in which three members of the Salomon family were stabbed to death.

To view the video click here.

Jordanian Terror
An Israeli security guard at the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan was attacked by a 17-year-old Jordanian wielding a screwdriver. The guard managed to shoot and kill the attacker. The owner of the building where the attack took place—a Jordanian doctor—was struck by a stray bullet and killed. The security guard was stabbed in the chest and lightly wounded.

Israel has informed Jordan that according to the Vienna Convention, the security officer is immune from all criminal charges and civil suits in Jordan, and he will not be subject to arrest or interrogation. Currently, there is no official Jordanian request for the extradition of the Israeli security guard.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the Israeli ambassador in Jordan, Einat Schlein, on Sunday along with the security guard who was stabbed.

The 17 year old attacker apparently wanted to murder an Israeli out of nationalistic motives. He was delivering furniture that the embassy had ordered from his father’s shop when he decided to commit his terror attack.

In a demonstration in Amman on Friday, thousands of people protested against Israel while brandishing model rockets with the inscription “Al Aqsa—a red line.” Other protestors shouted, “How beautiful it is to kill soldiers in Jerusalem.”

For further reading click here.

Synagogues Attacked
Muslim demonstrators attacked two synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey this past week. The attackers said they were acting in response to the turmoil revolving around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. In both attacks the police cars usually stationed in front of each synagogue left the area prior to the attacks, which indicates that the government approved the attacks.

For further reading click here.

arab protests temple mount

Israel News for 7-20-17

Temple Mount Turmoil
The White House released a statement regarding the recent turmoil relating to the Temple Mount saying, “The United States is very concerned about tensions surrounding the Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif, a site holy to Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and calls upon the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to make a good faith effort to reduce tensions and to find a solution that assures public safety and the security of the site and maintains the status quo. The United States will continue to closely monitor the developments.”

The turmoil began when Arab terrorists shot and killed two Israeli policemen and injured a third on the mount last Friday. Israel closed the Temple Mount and then reopened it on Monday morning after installing metal detectors at the entrances. The Muslim authorities at the Temple Mount (waqf) along with the entire Arab world condemned the security measure and called for Muslim worshipers to protest by praying outside of the entrances.

The Waqf is organizing major protests at the site for Friday (tomorrow) calling on Arabs from throughout the country to join in. The Waqf has also ordered all mosques in Jerusalem to close on Friday in order to compel Muslims from throughout Jerusalem to join in the protests.

According to various officials, Israel is considered alternate security measures as a replacement for the metal detectors, which would include selective security checks upon entrance to the compound according to criteria such as age groups and gender.

Israel is also said to be willing to remove the metal detectors entirely on condition that cameras are installed inside the compound—a measure that was supposed to be implemented months ago following an agreement between Israel and Jordan but which was ultimately thrown out by the Waqf.

Another option being considered is to have international forces operate the metal detectors.

Of course, everyone seeking to enter the Western Wall compound needs to pass through a metal detector, but that’s to protect them from Arab terrorists. The Arabs on the mount apparently don’t have to worry about terrorists killing them.

For further reading click here.

IDF Syria Aid
The IDF has publicized the scope of the aid that it has this far provided to victims of the civil war in Syria. The aid includes about half a million liters of diesel fuel, 360 tons of food, 77 tons of clothing and shoes and dozens of generators and water delivery systems.

The humanitarian aid is provided to some 200,000 Syrian citizens living in 80 villages and towns in the Syrian Golan Heights and controlled by rebel groups not affiliated with ISIS. The aid is stored in a logistics center on the Israeli side of the border and then transferred to the Syrian side, where it is picked up by the Syrians. Israel skips going through international organizations or the UN to make sure all the aid gets distributed to its intended recipients.

Golan Division Commander Brig. Gen. Yaniv Ashur said, “We are in telephone contact with people in the Syrian villages, including local doctors and village heads, but also with those involved in certain professions, such as electricity, to which we transmit generators.”

Another IDF source said, “One of the guiding principles here is maintaining continuity to create credibility on the other side. We supplied them with tons of flour, which reduced the price of bread by 50 percent, 80 percent. Once a week, a Syrian children’s bus arrives at the border for a day of medical treatment in Israel, which also includes fun activities for children and providing clothing.”

The aid project is funded mainly by foreign donations, with the IDF supplying some of the budget.

General Asher noted that international aid organizations, such as the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders, have not been involved in the project, apparently over concerns that doing so would limit their activities in Turkey and Jordan. He said, “We found civilian donors like a wealthy Syrian expatriate who lived in Chicago, who provided donations through the Haifa Port.”

Regarding medical assistance Asher said, “In total, 3,000 Syrians have been treated so far, about 70 percent of whom are men (aged 20 – 30), in addition to 1,000 children who have been hospitalized for treatment and a respite over the past year. None of them have wanted to stay in Israel thanks to the assistance we provide their villages. We (also) supply insulin to one hundred Syrian diabetics.”

In two weeks a new IDF clinic will be set up on the border. The IDF will provide the infrastructure, but the doctors and the funding will be provided by the US. This is in addition to the medical equipment transferred from Israel to the medical centers that were damaged in the Quneitra city area.

It was also announced this week that Israel is planning to establish a new field hospital along the demarcation line with Syria, which is on the Syrian side of the border fence. The new field hospital will treat some 50 people per day and will be operated by an international NGO.

For further reading click here.

Alimony Equality
In a landmark supreme court ruling on Wednesday, justices ruled that divorced mothers of children aged six to 15 will have to share the financial burden of child support with the fathers if their salaries are equal or the woman’s is higher and children are in joint custody.

Until now, men have been required to pay child support to their ex-wives even in situations of joint custody when the mother earned more than the father. The ruling was given in response to an appeal by two divorced men whose ex-wives earned higher salaries than they did but who were still required to pay child support even though their children were in joint custody.

For further reading click here.

Slice of America
If your looking to move to Saudi Arabia but hold on to the luxuries of an American lifestyle, this place might just be right for you. Why you’d want to move to Saudi Arabia is your business. But it’s good to know your options.

To view a video of what to expect click here.

israel news

Israel News for 7-19-17

Since today is a slow news day we decided to take the opportunity to share with you some Israel related videos that we think you’ll find informative and valuable.

Who is Palestinian?
The goal of this video is to demonstrate that the origins of the Palestinians aren’t exactly what you’ve been taught to believe, by the media and the Palestinians themselves.

To view the video click here.

Back to Basics
Sometimes it’s worthwhile reviewing the basic issues behind the Israeli-Arab conflict. This video does a great job clearly laying out the historical facts and timeline.

To view the video click here.

Israel vs. Iran
Wonder how Israel and Iran stack up against each other in military strength? This video compares the conventional military forces of both countries.

To view the video click here.

Here’s another video comparing the military capabilities of both nations — click here.

Other View
Once in a while it’s interesting to see how the Arab media reports events in Israel. This Al Jazeera video reports the current situation relating to Israel’s installation of metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount.

To view the video click here.

Other View
Once in a while it’s interesting to see how the Arab media reports events in Israel. This Al Jazeera video reports the current situation relating to Israel’s installation of metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount.

To view the video click here.

The Cave
UNESCO recently declared the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron as a Palestinian historical heritage site. In this video you’ll see the real history of the cave.

To view the video click here.

car accidents israel

Israel News for 7-18-17

Traffic Tragedies
Two separate traffic accidents in Israel yesterday claimed the lives of four people and injured several others. In one accident, 23 year old Capt. Binyamin Rosenblum, an IDF officer in charge of a desert reconnaissance unit, was killed when his vehicle was struck by a bus near Eshkol, in southern Israel. The bus driver and a passenger were lightly injured.

In the other tragic accident, a car carrying a family of six on vacation collided with a truck on Route 70 in the western Galilee near Avdon, not far from the Lebanese border. The father, Elon Mukhtar, 47, seven year old son Yoel Shalom and a 12 year old daughter were killed in the crash. The mother, Sarah, 47, is fighting for her life in the Galilee Medical Center’s intensive care unit. Two other children, Yonatan, 16, and Aviyah, 14, were less severely injured. The family’s other young daughter was not in the vehicle at the time of the accident. The Mukhtar family is from Kfar Adumim. The funerals will be held today.

According to the National Road Safety Authority, the death toll since the beginning of the year stands at 213, compared with 203 in the same period last year. Since the beginning of July, a total of 17 people have been killed on the roads.

Israel has done, and continues to do, an amazing job and invest a tremendous amount of resources in fighting terror. Now it needs to invest in the battle against road fatalities. That includes driver education, road safety and more police on the roads to make sure that drivers are being safe.

But the government can only do so much. It’s up to every driver to be responsible when driving. That means focusing on the road and not on talking or texting on a phone, smoking, drinking, reading (often all at the same time), arguing, sleeping or trying to prevent other drivers from passing you. It also means following the basic rules of the road like staying in your lane, not getting too close to the car in front of you, and being courteous to other drivers.

Most accidents are caused by negligence or unsafe driving. Too many lives have already been lost, and unfortunately there will be more injuries and fatalities if we don’t take this seriously and make the necessary changes.

Just a day or two ago Smadar Kafri, an Israeli woman who saw the car her husband and baby daughter were driving in smashed on its side at an intersection, wrote a Facebook post describing the importance of vehicular and car seat safety. The post has gone viral.

To read the post click here.

Internet Control
The Knesset has passed a new law that gives police the authority to restrict or block internet sites that encourage or perpetrate criminal offenses, such as prostitution, drug dealing, gambling and incitement. The new law will provide the police with the necessary tools to combat criminals and instigators who have transferred their activities online.

Speaking after the vote, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan said, “Today we corrected a deficiency in enforcement that has been around for years, years in which the existing law was unable to deal with the trend of crime transitioning to the online space.”

For further reading click here.

No German Subs
Germany has postponed the signing of an agreement for the sale of three submarines to Israel, scheduled for next week, because of an Israel police investigation into possible corruption surrounding the $1.5 billion deal. Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Adam recently flew to Germany for a meeting with his German counterpart in order salvage the deal and to prevent its total nullification.

For further reading click here.

Fiery Words [Video]
There was a fire last week in the northern city of Tsfat. A scribe who lives next door to where the fire occurred and was in the midst of writing a Torah scroll when the fire broke out. When he returned to get the Torah scroll he was writing, he was shocked to see the words in the verse that he stopped at when the fire broke out. It says that (paraphrase) you shall hear the word of God emanating from the fire.

To watch the video click here.

Israel News for 7-17-17

Temple Mount
Israel reopened the Temple Mount yesterday, after closing it on Friday after two Israeli policemen were gunned down there by terrorists. New security measures, including metal detectors, have been installed at the entrances to the Temple Mount. Waqf officials protested the security measures and called on worshippers not to enter, while organizing a protest prayer outside the entrance. Nevertheless, hundreds of Muslim worshippers entered the Temple Mount to pray yesterday. Jewish visitors were prohibited from the area.

While Jordan’s King Abdullah personally condemned the terror attack in a phone call to Netanyahu, the head of the Jordanian parliament praised the terrorists as martyrs and asked parliament to pray for the souls of the three terrorists, all Israeli Arabs.

PA President Abbas also condemned the attack.

For further reading click here.

French Visit
PM Netanyahu participated in a memorial service in Paris yesterday commemorating 75 years since French police rounded up 13,000 French Jews and held them in a stadium outside Paris from where they were eventually deported to death camps. Fewer than 100 survived.

Speaking at the event, French President Macron acknowledged that it was the French who were solely responsible for the roundup without any direct German involvement. He also pledged to continue to fight antisemitism.

Macron also appealed to Netanyahu to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to create two independent states saying, “I call for a resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in the framework of the search for a solution of two states, Israel and Palestine, living in recognized, secure borders with Jerusalem as the capital.”

For further reading click here.

Prostitution Bill
The Knesset Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a bill yesterday to make soliciting a prostitute illegal. The punishment for a first offense will be a fine of no less than NIS 1,250. Sort of like a traffic ticket.

While human trafficking, pimpimg and organized prostitution (brothels) is currently illegal under Israeli law, prostitution and hiring a prostitute is not. The new law will will still not effect the prostitute, only the person hiring the prostitute.

The bill includes measures to ensure that men and women currently involved in the prostitution business receive assistance and protection in the process of rehabilitation and return to the community. It also calls for the establishment of a national authority to deal with prostitution.

For further reading click here.

Greek Deal
The famous Roman Amphitheater and the hippodrome in the ancient Israeli coastal city of Caesarea have been sold by the Greek Orthodox Church, which owned the property. The area was sold to a holding company based in the Caribbean, but the identities of the actual buyers are as yet unknown. Most of the 172 acres sold are part of a national park. The church recently sold off 123 acres of property in wealthy neighborhoods of Jerusalem, also to an unidentified buyer.

The Greek Orthodox Church acquired some 4,500 dunams (1,110 acres) of real estate in the center of Jerusalem during the 19th century, primarily for agriculture. In the 1950s, just after Israel’s independence, it agreed to lease its land to the JNF for 99 years — with an option to extend. Even Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, is built on Greek Orthodox-owned land.

For further reading click here.

Alexandria Shul
The Egyptian government has announced that it will allocate $2.24 million to renovate the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria. The synagogue, which was built in 1850, was forced to close its doors after part of the ceiling over the women’s prayer section collapsed several months ago. While the official Jewish community, which consists of only 18 registered members, is technically required to pay for the renovation, the Egyptian government has decided to cover the costs.

The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue can seat over 700 people and is considered to be one of the largest synagogues in the Middle East. It is the last active synagogue in Alexandria, which once was home to 50,000 Jews. Estimates today put the number of Jews living in all of Egypt at fewer than 50.

For further reading click here.

israel palestinian water deal

Israel News for 7-14-17

Water Deal
Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed a deal, brokered by US envoy Jason Greenblatt, that will provide millions of cubic meters of drinking water to the Palestinians.

The agreement is part of a larger trilateral agreement between Israel, Jordan and the PA for the construction of a 220-kilometer (137-mile) pipeline transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. As the water runs down the gradient to the Dead Sea (the lowest point on earth) it will be used to generate electricity that will also power a desalination plant to produce 100 million cubic meters of drinking water for the Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians. The water will also partially replenish the rapidly depleting Dead Sea.

The water sharing deal calls for an Aqaba desalination plant in Jordan to sell water to southern Jordan and Eilat, while water from the Sea of Galilee will be sold to northern Israel and Jordan. Israel will sell 32 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinian Authority from Mediterranean desalination plants — 10 million to Gaza and 22 million to the West Bank.

Experts have estimated the canal will cost $10 billion, and the EU, US, Japan and Italy, among others, have already committed to part of the cost. Israel and Jordan will pay for the rest. The project is expected to take four to five years.

Greenblatt said, “As we all know, water is a precious commodity in the Middle East,” Greenblatt said. “The US welcomes the agreement reached by the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel, which will allow for the sale of 32 million cubic meters of water from Israel to the Palestinian Authority. In addition, we hope that the deal will contribute to the healing of the Dead Sea and that will help not only Palestinians and Israelis but Jordanians as well.”

He added, “This agreement is an example of the parties working together to make a mutual beneficial deal. I am proud of the role the US and international partners have played in helping the partners reach this deal land I hope it is a harbinger of things to come.”

The Palestinians made it clear that the agreement has no bearing on any final status peace agreement.

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Eco Terror
As a result of Israel’s cutting the electricity supply to Gaza, the sewage treatment plants operated there have stopped operating. That has caused massive dumping of sewage into the Hanun stream, which flows into Israel. The Israelis have been using large vacuum trucks to suck up the sewage, but the situation has gotten to overwhelming for the trucks to handle. The IDF has also tried blocking the stream, but that hasn’t worked either.

Hof Ashkelon Regional Council head Yair Farjun said: “What we’re seeing here is an ecological terror attack. The Israeli government must immediately resolve this crisis and not leave Hof Ashkelon Regional Council to deal with it alone.”

Besides providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes, the sewage flooding can severely impact the drinking water in the area.

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Close Call
Last week Canadian food inspectors ordered liquor stores to stop selling wines made in the West Bank, saying their label identifying them as Israeli contravenes Canadian policy that does not recognize the West Bank as part of Israel. The ruling singled out the Psagot and Shiloh wineries, which are both in settlements outside Ramallah.

The ruling by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) stated “that ‘Product of Israel’ would not be an acceptable country of origin declaration for wine products that have been made from grapes that are grown, fermented, processed, blended and finished in the West Bank occupied territory.”

Yesterday, at least partially as a result of pressure from Canadian Jewish groups, the CFIA overturned their ruling saying, “The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regrets the outcome of the wine labelling assessment which led to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s (LCBO) response regarding products from two wineries labelled as ‘Product of Israel’. In our assessment, we did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA).”

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Best Beaches
If you’re looking for the beaches that are the best kept secrets in Israel, here are nine of them you should check out. Click here.