IDF in Jenin

Israel News for 11-30-17

Children Attacked on Hike
A group of 25 children and 2 adult escorts (at least one of whom was a parent) were attacked by Palestinians while they were on a hike in Samaria near the settlement of Migdalim and the Arab village of Kida.

The group was attacked by dozens of Palestinians throwing rocks and then took refuge in a cave while Palestinians continued their attack. After firing warning shots into the air that went unheeded, one of the parents escorting the group fired at the attackers, hitting a 48 year old man who later died of his wounds.

One of the Israeli escorts suffered a light head wound and the other sustained an injury to one of his arms.

The Samaria Regional Council said in a statement that there were approximately 100 Palestinians who attacked the group of children and parents.

IDF forces arrived at the scene soon after the attack and dispersed the crowds and attempted to treat the wounded terrorist.

Avraham Binyamin, a spokesperson for the Yitzhar settlement, said the hike was part of a “bar mitzvah trip for one of the children.”

For further reading click here.

Gaza Attack
The IDF has released a statement saying, “A short time ago, our forces struck four terror targets in the Gaza Strip. The attack came in response to a ballistic attack carried out toward a military position adjacent to the northern Gaza Strip. We view the Hamas terror organization as responsible for the events in the Gaza Strip.”

The IDF attacks, using tanks and aircraft, came in response to 15 mortar shells that were fired from Gaza into Israel today.

For further reading click here.

New Samaria City
A special committee appointed by the Interior Ministry’s director general has recommended the creation of a new city in Samaria (West Bank). The new city would be created by joining together the existing settlements of Etz Efraim, Sha’arei Tikva, Oranit and Elkana. Construction would be done on the lands currently separating the settlements, which has until now been prohibited due to political considerations. It would be the first new city to be established in Samaria since Ariel, 20 years ago.

The four settlements that would form the new city have a total of 22,000 residents. While the Finance Ministry would need to invest over NIS 100 million in the city’s formation, the government would end up saving money since the settlements would no longer need to maintain 4 separate service systems.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely commented on the decision, saying, “Unifying the four Samaria settlements and creating a new city is the correct, appropriate decision and constitutes a clear, meaningful statement to the world: the settlement grows and strengthens.”

She added, “It also signifies an enormous budgetary investment in Samaria by the Finance Ministry, while also being a cost-saving measure for the state and strengthening Judea and Samaria. Every additional city in Judea and Samaria is an important increase in strength. (Interior) Minister Aryeh Deri is worthy of every praise for this important move.”

The new city would lie just across the Green Line and moments from Highway 6.

For further reading click here.

Gaza Shuttle
Israel on Wednesday launched a program to provide shuttle service for Gazans who need to travel to the US Consulate in Jerusalem.

In recent months, Israel has barred Gazans from entering Israel for visa interviews at the US Consulate after some applicants fled into hiding in Israel to seek work. The restrictions have prevented several hundred people from applying at the Consulate for visas to travel or study in the US.

Unfortunately, two of the passengers on the initial shuttle run ran off and are in hiding in Israel.

For further reading click here.

Hotovely Punished
PM Netanyahu yesterday canceled a scheduled trip by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely to participate in a diplomatic dialogue in Prague. The move by the PM was apparently in response to comments Hotovely made in an interview with i24 that American Jews do not understand the reality of life in Israel because they do not send their children to the military or live under the threat of missile fire.

After Netanyahu threatened to fire her as a result of intense pressure for him to do so from various politicians and US Jewish organizations, Hotovely apologized for her remarks.

Hotovely’s office said that her trip was not canceled, just postponed at the request of the Prime Minister’s Office, until 2018. The PM’s office had no comment.

For further reading click here.

Embassy Move Reports
In the aftermath of comments made by US VP Pence that President Trump was actively considering “when and how” to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, reports are circulating that an announcement by the White House officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel might be imminent. The reports also support the VP’s remarks that Trump is seriously considering the embassy move.

But at a press conference Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that any such announcement was imminent saying, “This is a premature report. We have nothing to announce.”

Jordan’s King Hussein, meeting with US lawmakers in Washington yesterday, said that moving the embassy before a comprehensive peace solution is reached “would have implications on the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim scene, and would threaten the two-state solution.”

He added, “moving the embassy must come within a comprehensive solution that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem [sic] as its capital, living side by side with Israel,” and that a move now “could be potentially exploited by terrorists to stoke anger, frustration, and desperation in order to spread their ideologies.”

For further reading click here and here.