Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-5-2023

News Update

Police surrounded the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount last night to remove dozens of masked Palestinians who had barricaded themselves inside the mosque with fireworks, clubs and stones. When the militants refused to come out peacefully, police entered by force. Palestinians attacked police with fireworks and rocks. Police reported that 350 people were arrested. The masked militants were reportedly planning to disrupt and attack Jewish groups planning to visit the Temple Mount on Passover. One police officer was injured in the leg by a stone. The Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia condemned the “intrusion” into Al Aqsa.

Following the Temple Mount incident, Islamic Jihad terrorists launched a barrage of rockets from Gaza at Israeli communities. The IDF responded this morning by striking Hamas military targets in Gaza including a weapons factory and a weapons storage facility. Terrorists then fired another rocket barrage. In total, between 16 and 18 rockets were fired. Most of the rockets were either intercepted by the Iron Dome or landed in open areas. One of the rockets struck a factory in the Sderot industrial area, causing damage.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir called for the security cabinet to be convened. He said, “The government of which I am a member should respond strongly to the rocket fire from Gaza. Hamas rockets necessitate a response beyond the bombing of dunes and uninhabited sites. It’s time for heads to roll in Gaza.”

An IDF soldiers was shot and wounded during an operation in the village of Beit Ummar near Hebron this morning. Troops returned fire and are hunting for the terrorists.

A terrorist from Hebron stabbed 2 IDF soldiers yesterday at a junction in Be’er Yaakov, near Rishon Letzion. Civilians at the scene overpowered the terrorist. On Monday night, terrorists fired at a Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa. No one was injured. The walls of four homes were grazed by bullets. Fatah and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack and released a video of the shooting.

Syrian media reported that Israel launched airstrikes targeting Damascus International Airport and the southern Damascus area yesterday. This is the fourth strike in the last week.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s firing of Defense Minister Gallant last week is apparently on hold because of security concerns. Gallant will remain in the Defense Ministry for now although he has yet to meet with the prime minister, who is demanding a public apology in return for the ability to retain his job, a condition Gallant has refused to accept.

The head of the Shin Bet said yesterday that the internal security service has thwarted over 200 significant terror attacks since the beginning of the years.

Electric car prices in Israel might be heading lower after Tesla decided to drop the price of its Tesla Model Y Electric Crossover by NIS 50,000. For more, click here.

Passover begins tonight and lasts for 7 days in Israel and 8 in the diaspora. The holiday represents God’s redemption of the Jewish People from Egyptian bondage, the formation of the Jewish nation and the eternal bond between God and the Jewish nation. We destroy our chametz (wheat related products), which represent haughtiness and Ego, and eat Matzah, which represents humility and modesty.

On a personal note, yesterday morning I had the opportunity to visit the Temple Mount for the first time. I was part of a group lead by Dr. Melissa Jane Kronfeld of High on the Har. It was an incredibly meaningful experience that I hope to repeat many times more.

On the one hand, I felt intense sadness being on the site of the Holy Temple and seeing the actual ruins of that temple and the holy ground occupied by a foreign nation. At the same time I felt an overwhelming sense of holiness and peacefulness.

The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom, which is also the word for “complete” or “whole” in an existential sense. When a person is totally at peace with himself, his identity…with who he is, he is Shalem. Standing on the Temple Mount I experienced that feeling of wholeness and internal peace that I don’t think I have ever felt before. That feeling has stayed with me, and I hope and pray that it continues to do so.

The Holy Temple was the pride and glory and soul of the Jewish People that gave every Jew a sense of wholeness and peace. Even now that it is no longer standing (hopefully only temporarily), it continues to emanate that holiness and peace for those willing to accept and grasp it. You don’t have to physically ascend the mountain to feel that peace but, at least in my case, being there certainly made all the difference in the world. You might feel the same way.

After visiting the Temple Mount, I have a much greater appreciation of what we lost and what we will, hopefully one day soon, have again. I can now mourn for the Holy Temple with greater sadness, and celebrate the holiness and peace that continues to emanate from the Temple Mount with new excitement and passion.

May we merit to be able to celebrate next Passover in the rebuilt Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Next Year in Jerusalem…in the Holy Temple!