israel news

Israel News for 12-7-18

Northern Tunnels
GOC Northern Commander Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick on Thursday gave the commander of the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) a tour of the Hezbollah terror tunnel the IDF uncovered near Metula, and protested the violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War). Strick presented the UNIFIL commander with aerial photos of a group of houses in the Lebanese village of Ramyeh, where the IDF says there is another terror tunnel is crossing into Israel, and demanded that UNIFIL work with the Lebanese army to neutralize it.

The IDF is currently in the midst of Operation Northern Shield, to expose and neutralize terror tunnels Hezbollah has constructed along the Israel-Lebanon border since 2006.

PM Netanyahu told 25 foreign ambassadors during a tour of the tunnel site in the upper Galilee. “This operation is just beginning but in the end, the tunnels weapon, in which Hezbollah has invested so much, will not exist and will not be effective.”

He added, “Israel expects an unequivocal condemnation of Hezbollah, the imposition of additional sanctions on Iran, a condemnation from the Lebanese government and a demand that it stop giving its approval for the use of its territory for these attacks against Israel.” 

He also said that Israel plans to demand a response from the international community at a meeting of the UN Security Council called for by Israel.

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Failed Resolution
The US attempt to get a UN resolution passed condemning Hamas terror failed to get the required two thirds support in the General Assembly. The US draft resolution got 87 votes in favor, 58 against, 32 abstentions and 16 countries did not vote. In an earlier procedural move requested by Kuwait, the 193-member body narrowly voted to require two-thirds support and not a simple majority for adoption of the draft resolution.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the assembly prior to the vote, “Before the General Assembly can credibly advocate compromise and reconciliation between the Palestinians and Israel, it must on record, unambiguously and unconditionally, condemn Hamas terrorism.” She also warned that, “The United States takes the outcome of this vote very seriously.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, “Following just days after Hamas indiscriminately fired thousands of missiles at Israel’s citizens, UN could not muster a resolution condemning this band of terrorists. This is yet another disgraceful act of bias toward the Jewish State.”

PM Netanyahu tweeted, “While it did not achieve a two-thirds majority, this is the first time that a majority of countries have voted against Hamas and I commend each of the 87 countries that took a principled stand against Hamas.”

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Laser Defense
The Ministry of Defense is accelerating and budgeting a plan to develop a new missile interception system using powerful lasers.

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Anti Semitism
The European Union’s 28 Interior Ministers unanimously approved an 11-page declaration Thursday recognizing a common definition of anti-Semitism and acknowledging Jewish concerns given the prevalence of attacks in recent years. The Council of the European Union, composed of all EU leaders, is expected to also approve the declaration.

The declaration underlines the importance of education about the Holocaust and urges the EU’s police agency Europol to point out anti-Semitic terror content online to internet service providers. It is the first time that an official document of the Council of the European Union explicitly mentions the need to unite in the fight against anti-Semitism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron were instrumental in getting the declaration approved by all EU nations. The final version of the declaration went through 84 drafts.

The EU countries promised to adopt and implement a holistic strategy to combat and prevent anti-Semitism, provide funding and implement measures to secure communities, promote Holocaust memory education, and pay special attention to anti-Semitism on the Internet.

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Anti Israel
The International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague has reported significant progress in its preliminary investigation into a complaint filed by the Palestinians for war crimes allegedly committed by Israel in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge, during the 2018 protests on the Gaza border and over the construction of settlements and the demolition of houses in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. However, the Chief Prosecutor said, in the report, that she has not yet decided whether to open an official investigation and nor whether she has the authority to deal with the Palestinian issue.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued this statement: “The annual report of the prosecutor’s office on preliminary examinations has only just been published, and we are studying it. Recalling that Israel is not a member of the International Criminal Court, and our unequivocal position is that the tribunal has no authority to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, inter alia, since the PA is not a state. We expect that at the end of the preliminary examination the prosecutor will confirm this.”

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Bennett Furious
Education Minister Naftali Bennett lashed out at PM Netanyahu in reaction to reports that Netanyahu asked Shaul Elovitch, owner of the Walla! News website, to publish a story that Bennett’s wife, Gilat, worked as a chef at non-kosher restaurants. Bennett heads up the religious Bayit Yehudi party.

Bennett tweeted,”I feel sorry for you, Mr. Netanyahu. You personally took the trouble of calling the owners of Walla! to hurt my wife. This is a despicable and cowardly act. Shame on you.” He added, “I married Gilat, a wonderful woman, an Israeli from a secular home with values, and together we built a wonderful religious Zionist home. My family is the pride of my life. Don’t apologize to me, I’m not interested. Apologize to my wife.”

Netanyahu’s Likud Party rejected the demand for an apology and instead attacked Bennett for allegedly slandering Sara Netanyahu to the press.

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Lights in Poland
Israel’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi, David Lau, lit a Hanukkah menorah in the Polish Parliament (Sejm) on Wednesday. Lau’s father, former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, is a holocaust survivor from Poland. This was the first time that a chief rabbi of Israel has lit Hanukkah candles at a public event in Poland.

Rabbi Lau said, “For me, this represents a closing of circles. Most of my family perished on this country’s soil, but today I am illuminating the darkness with these Hanukkah candles and thus perpetuating our glowing Jewish heritage.”

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