Court permits lifting hands on Temple Mount

Jerusalem District Court judge Ram Vinograd reversed the decision of a lower court to ban activist Yehudi Etzion from visiting the Temple Mount for 15 days after he was arrested for lifting up his hands in the Temple Mount compound. The court ruled that lifting up the hands was a gesture of prayer, which is prohibited on the Temple Mount for non Muslims.

Judge Vinograd called the lower court’s ruling a “slippery slope”, claiming that if lifting the hands is prohibited then wearing a head covering or gazing upwards might also be prohibited, since they can also be considered acts relating to prayer. The judge said that the gesture was not sanctioned in the past, and that if police wanted to change the instructions on proper behavior at the site, it should have done so explicitly.

Yehuda Etzion raises hands on the Temple MountYehuda Etzion raises his hands on the Temple Mount

 

Etzion and other activists visited the Temple Mount on the fast of Tevet, which marks the day that the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem began in 588 BCE and led to the destruction of the first temple two years later. At a certain point they began to walk with their hands raised. A police officer told them to lower their hands but they refused and were than detained for questioning.

In the 1980s Etzion was sentenced to seven years in prison for his involvement in a plot to blow up the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. Since his release he has been working to allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount and has had repeated confrontations with the police.

During court proceedings the police claimed that Etzion posed a threat to public security. They explained that the situation on the Temple Mount is explosive yet they succeeded in extracting the Temple Mount from the current wave of terror.

Etzion said, after the ruling, ”From the start it was clear to me that even under the shameful status quo which bans prayer at the Temple Mount, there’s nothing wrong with lifting the hands upwards,”

Honenu, the group which filed the appeal on Etzion’s behalf, praised the ruling and said it “hopes police will learn from the judge’s statements and stop harassing Jews coming to the Temple Mount.

For further reading click here

Hamas terror cell busted

Security forces uncovered a Hamas terror cell in the West Bank that was planning a string of large-scale suicide terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. The joint Shin Bet, IDF and Israel Police operation has so far led to the arrest of 25 people, mostly students from the University of Abu Dis in East Jerusalem.

 

Interrogation of the suspects revealed that the cell was run by 24 year old Ahmad Jamal Musa Azam from Qalqilya, who was recruited a few months ago by Hamas in the Gaza strip to set up a militant infrastructure to carry out bombing attacks.

 

Azam was in constant contact with his handlers in Gaza, who trained him to make explosive belts and other explosive devices. He recruited several other activists who studied with him at the University of Abu Dis to buy raw material to make explosives, rent apartments, enlist suicide bombers and smuggle them into Israel. Among the recruits was a 19 year old Bedouin-Israeli citizen and a 22 year old resident of the Old City of Jerusalem.

 

 

explosives

Explosives confiscated during the investigation

About a month ago Givati forces uncovered an explosives laboratory in Abu Dis and in a Ramallah store. They found mostly raw chemical materials but the security forces said they have not seen explosives of this scope and quality in the West Bank in a long time. Consequently Duvdevan special forces and the Border Police’s counter-terrorism unit raided the homes of cell members who were arrested and interrogated by Shin Bet.

This is the most significant terrorist cell that has emerged during the recent wave of terror attacks, most of which were carried out by lone terrorists. without organizational affiliation. Some of the 25 detainees are known to security authorities and more arrests are expected.

David's sling missile test

Israeli successfully completes tests of futuristic missile defense system

The Defense Ministry announced that it has successfully completed the last phase of trials of the David’s Sling air defense system. The system has entered production stage and the Israel Air Force is expected to take possession of the system in the first quarter of 2016.

 

 

David’s sling can intercept short to medium range rockets and ballistic missiles including guided projectiles, cruise missiles, aircraft, and drones, which is the main threat that Israel faces from it’s northern border. Its range means it can destroy incoming threats over enemy territory, away from Israeli skies and high enough to prevent damage from shrapnel. It will play a crucial part in the multi-layered defense system being developed by the Israeli Defense Ministry, complementing the Iron Dome (which defends against short range) and the Arrow 3  defense batteries (which defends against long range missiles).

The trials occurred in recent days in southern Israel, and were led by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which is developing David’s Sling, together with the US defense company Raytheon.

The Defense Ministry described the trials where “the system’s capabilities were tested in a number of scenarios that simulate the threats it was designed to deal with. Target missiles were fired, which were detected by a multi-mission radar. The radar transmitted the coordinates to a fire control center, that calculated defense counter-plans. David’s Sling interceptors were successfully fired, and carried out all of the flight stages, destroying the targets as planned,”

Shlomo S. (full name withheld), head of the David’s Sling program in Rafael explained  “The emphasis is on guided, maneuvering threats carrying dozens of kilograms of warheads, which are highly destructive,” He added “This is first time technology of this kind has been used. It is on the verge of science fiction.”

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.

terrorist shot at Shechem Gate Jerusalem

Terrorist tries to stab but is shot by Israeli security guard

This security camera video records how an Arab terrorist brandishing a knife charges at two Israelis near the Shechem Gate outside of the Old City, Jerusalem. The two Israelis were security guards who worked at the Yeshiva Ateret Cohanim in the old city. One of them managed to draw his weapon and shoot the terrorist before he could stab him.

Bibi Netanyahu

Did Bibi Propose Limiting Jewish Visits to the Temple Mount?

Yesterday Walla News reported from Arab sources that Israeli diplomats told Jordan’s King Abdullah that Israel would reduce the number of Jewish and non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount. Both the King and PA President Abbas rejected the offer, claiming that it was insufficient.

They weren’t the only ones unsatisfied with the proposal. Knesset members from the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party called on the PM to clarify whether he instructed the diplomats to make the offer.

Education Minister and head of the Bayit Yehudi party Naftali Bennett said, “I don’t believe that the PM would offer such a proposal.” He added that if the terrorists gain concessions from their terror, then their next wave of terror will be even worse, and that in the Middle East, displays of weakness are not effective diplomacy.

The PM’s office responded that no such proposal ever existed. So I guess it never happened.

Israeli Soldiers Mistakenly Shoot and Kill Jewish Man

Last night, in another tragic case of mistaken identity, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a 28 yr old Jewish man at a bus stop in Jerusalem.

Background
According to police, two soldiers were waiting to get on the bus when a man getting off the bus asked them to show him their identification. They got suspicious and asked him for his ID. An argument ensued and he allegedly attacked them and tried to grab one of their guns. A civilian security guard in the area saw the scuffle, wrongly identified the man as a terrorist and shot at him. Then the soldiers opened fire, killing the man.

The victim was an immigrant from Russia who had served in the IDF in the Nahal Haredi (Ultra Orthodox) Brigade and had worked as a security guard in a school. He was currently studying at a yeshiva in Har Nof, Jerusalem. The rabbis at the yeshiva interviewed by Walla News couldn’t believe how something like this could have occurred. They all described the victim as a quiet, well mannered person who evidently made a bad mistake by arguing with the soldiers.

shooting Jewish man

Scene of shooting.

Police and IDF investigators are sorting through numerous testimonies that include very different facts. In one account the man shouted, “I am ISIS!” (could it have been like, “what, you think I’m ISIS?”). In another, a girl screamed, “Terrorist! Shoot him!”

The facts of the case will probably become clearer as the investigation continues.

Upshot
So many factors in this case point to a very tragic and deadly mistake. The soldiers were part of the reinforcements sent to bolster security on buses. They weren’t trained to do police work and handle this kind of situation. The security guard shot before positively identifying who he was shooting at. He probably should have let the soldiers handle the situation. Fear and hysteria took over.

In a culture where arguing is commonplace and can often turn violent, this seems to be a case where mistakes were made and shots were fired when they shouldn’t have been. And a man is dead.

abbas and terror

Abbas Incites Palestinians With Huge Lie

Despite calling for calm just over a week ago, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, gave a 5 minute address on the official “Palestine” television station that was far from calming.

Abbas called on the “Palestinian heroes” to continue their struggle for peace, and for all Palestinians to unite in their nationalistic cause. He referred to Palestinians minors killed in the recent wave of violence and said the blood of our youth are on the Israeli governments and settlers hands. He held up a picture of Ahmed Manasra, the 13 year old attacker who stabbed a Jewish boy a few days ago, and claimed that he had been killed by the Israeli government. I guess Abbas wasn’t informed that Manasra was only wounded. He obviously wouldn’t lie about something like that, right?

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Footage of Manasra was released Thursday morning showing him alive and kicking, well maybe not kicking but eating hospital food. His doctors at Hadassa Ein Kerem reported that his condition is improving and he should be released from hospital over the next couple of days.

israel-palestinians-manasra

Abbas told Palestinians to protect the sanctity of the Haram Al Sharif (Temple Mount) and to resist Israel’s efforts to change the status quo, which prohibits non Muslims from praying there. He called for international protection of Haram Al Sharif and the Palestinians. He said “Israeli incitement is threatening the stability and could ignite an all out religious war”.

PM Netanyahu called Abbas’ words “inciting and lies”. He explained why, but we already know the answers, and the Palestinians aren’t interested in hearing them.

So much for calm.

For further reading: http://news.walla.co.il/item/2897471

Israeli Residents of East Jerusalem Against Police Closures

There’s one group of Israelis who are adamantly against closing off Arab neighborhoods with roadblocks and checkpoints. No, they aren’t leftists. In fact, they are probably further to the right than most.

We’re referring to the Jews who live in various neighborhoods in the Arab areas of East Jerusalem. They feel that the closures are sending the message that Jerusalem is not united, but is split into two separate cities: East and West. It defeats their whole purpose of being there — to demonstrate that Jerusalem is one united city.  Yishai Fleisher, a resident of Maaleh Zeitim near Raas El Amud explains, “we’re here to fight for the unity of Jerusalem which is our highest value.  Jerusalem must not be treated as a divided city. But if they impose a closure here, it means the city is divided”.

[bctt tweet=”Jerusalem must not be treated as a divided city. But if they impose a closure here, it means the city is divided.” via=”no”]

Fifty Jewish families live in new buildings in the Nof Tzion neighborhood located in the heart of Jabel Mukaber. The road to the neighborhood is secured by police and army who are also stationed across the area. Several of the exits to Jabel Mukaber are closed, while others have checkpoints.

NofTzion
Nof Tzion neighborhood

The Jewish residents of East Jerusalem aren’t surprised by the recent violence, or the young age of the assailants. One resident explains, “if a 20 second ad can sell a soft drink, just think what years of incitement does to a child”. They aren’t taking any extra security measures. They claim that they live under these same circumstances on a daily basis, so they’re already well prepared.

At the moment tensions are high but it is quiet. The residents are used to hearing nightly calls from the mosque loudspeakers relating to Jews, Israel and Netanyahu — in not very positive terms, to say the least. They also get their share of molotov cocktails thrown at them. But they’re determined to stay put.

For further reading: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4711552,00.html

Rabbi Stav

Rabbis Differ on Treatment of Neutralized Terrorists

The recent terror attacks by Palestinians have spurred debate among Israelis about how to treat terrorists who have already been subdued. Is deadly force against a terrorist permitted if he or she is no longer a threat? How about non deadly violence, like beating?

Three major Israeli Zionist rabbinic leaders have offered rulings on the issue.

Rabbi David Stav (pictured above), the Chief Rabbi of Shoham and head of the Tzohar rabbinic organization, has ruled that it is NOT permitted to harm a terrorist who is subdued and poses no further threat. R. Stav said that the primary reason for his decision is so that Jews do not damage their moral compass and sink to the level of the terrorists. He also thinks that photos of Jews beating subdued terrorists will damage Israel’s standing in the world community. R. Stav said, “even though the terrorists deserve it, it is not our way.”

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, the head of the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem, agreed that civilians must not take action against subdued terrorist who are no longer a threat. He is, however, in favor of the death penalty for terrorists, as long as it is administered by the court. He believes that prison is not a sufficient deterrent.

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu

On the other side of the debate Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Safed, ruled last week that “it is forbidden to leave a terrorist alive after he has committed a terror attack. If he’s left alive there’s a possibility that he will go free and kill more people.” He said that only in special situations where shooting the terrorist could cause explosives to detonate or if they need to interrogate him can he be taken alive.

R. Eliyahu went so far as to demand a special investigation into the circumstances which lead to terrorists being taken alive to determine if the security forces had been negligent in their duties.

For further reading: http://news.walla.co.il/item/2897134

[bctt tweet=”Rabbis Differ on Treatment of Neutralized Terrorists”]

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