The IDF announced yesterday that it arrested, along with the Shin Bet and police, between 20 and 30 students who were part of a Hamas terror cell at Birzeit University near Ramallah.
The IDF released photos identifying a large weapons warehouse belonging to Hezbollah in the southern Lebanon village of Ebba, just 25 meters from a school where 300 students, from first to twelfth grade, attend. The army said that this was one of thousands of similar targets whose positioning is intended to endanger the lives of innocent Lebanese citizens.
An IDF drone crashed in Lebanon due to a technical malfunction. The IDF said that there was no danger that information was leaked.
PM Naftali Bennett spoke with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the two had agreed to continue expanding cooperation in the fields of industrial technology, information technology, communications and the development of start-ups
A spokesman for Turkey’s ruling party said that Turkey and Israel are working towards improving their strained relations following a phone call between Turkish president Erdogan and Israel’s president Herzog earlier this week.
An investigation into the May riots in mixed Arab-Jewish cities revealed that police faced a major shortage of weapons and equipment. The police subsequently has have purchased a sufficient amount of weapons to maintain order for 35 consecutive days in case of extreme violence.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz named Brig.-Gen. Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi as the IDF’s next military advocate general (MAG), which would make her only the second woman to hold the rank of major general in Israel’s history.
Tisha B’av will be observed Saturday night and Sunday. 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. The day is observed with fasting and reciting lamentations.
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 with 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.
We have returned to our homeland, reestablished our sovereignty over it and made it thrive. Now we have a second chance to correct the mistakes we made the first time around. If we can unite and exist in harmony, we can remain invincible in our land forever. That is the message, and challenge, of Tisha B’av, and why we continue to commemorate the day of our greatest defeat (seriously, 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 (Chabad.org).
Starting next week, IsraelAM will be published in Modiin, Israel. That’s because we are moving there on Monday! So there probably won’t be an email on Monday, but after that, your Israel news will be coming directly from the Holy Land!