Israel News for 7-24-17

Terror and Funeral
Yesterday I joined thousands of Israelis, including government ministers and officials, at the funeral of Yossi Salomon (70), his daughter Chaya (46) and son Elad (36) as they were laid to rest in the Modiin Cemetery. The three were stabbed to death as they finished their Friday night Shabbat dinner at the family home in Halamish (Neve Tzuf), Samaria by a 19 year old Palestinian terrorist. The settlement is right near Ramallah.

The terrorist, from a nearby village, called the settlement’s security fence wearing a white shirt (commonly worn by observant Jews in Israel on Shabbat), in order not to draw attention if he was noticed. He performed some sort of purification ceremony using bottles of water that he brought, and then walked to the Salomon house and knocked on the front door, brandishing a large knife.

The Salomon family had gathered to celebrate the birth of a grandchild, so they were expecting many guests to join them after dinner. Chaya opened the door and the terrorist stabbed her. She managed to run outside screaming for help before succumbing to her wounds. The terrorist entered and came upon Tova, Yossi’s 68 year old wife (Chaya and Elad’s mother). At first she thought he was guest since he was wearing a white shirt and she asked him who he was. He smiled at her and stabbed her in the back. She managed to escape upstairs. Then the terrorist stabbed Yossi to death in the kitchen and then attempted to get upstairs.

While the massacre was taking place Elad’s wife Michal managed to quickly take her three children into a room upstairs and lock the door. According to his mother’s testimony, Elad fought the terrorist to prevent him from going up the stairs.

Chaya’s screams had alerted a neighbor who was a member of an elite IDF unit. He ran to the home and managed to shoot and neutralize the terrorist through a window.

The IDF is investigating how the terrorist was able to climb the fence and continue to the Salomon undetected. Apparently an alarm was triggered when the terrorist scaled the fence and a settlement security patrol was dispatched to investigate, but when they noticed no breach they did not alert the IDF or trigger a general alarm. The entire incident, from the terrorist’s scaling the fence until he was shot and neutralized, lasted 14 minutes. He was in the house for approximately 4 minutes. Residents of Halamish are demanding that the IDF install security cameras along the entire security fence.

While the IDF is ultimately responsible for security of the settlement, the settlement’s internal security force is usually the first to make contact with intruders.

The Defense Ministry issued a statement saying, “In the past year, the defense establishment has been carrying out extensive work to strengthen the security components of Halamish. Within this framework, the settlement has already been surrounded by an electric fence. The last part of the project was planned, regardless of the murderous attack, to be carried out in the near future.”

At his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu said the killer’s home would be demolished swiftly in retribution and those who incited and glorified his act would be dealt with.

Regarding the funeral, it was relatively quiet. There were no calls for revenge, there was no incitement, there were no demonstrations or protests. Perhaps there should have been. Perhaps we Jews should be taking forceful action to permanently end the constant terror and murder. Perhaps we should once and for all say “never again” and mean it.

But the funeral was a time for mourning our losses and praying for a better future.

Temple Mount
Israel has begun installing security cameras around the perimeter of the Temple Mount, which could potentially take the place of the metal detectors that have stirred the recent unrest. Last night Muslim worshippers rioted at the Lion’s Gate, at the entrance to the Temple Mount. Muslims have refused to walk through the metal detectors to enter the Temple Mount and are instead holding their prayers services outside the perimeter. PA President Abbas announced a freeze on all relations with Israel on Friday.

Why are the Muslims so upset about the metal detectors? It obviously makes sense to install them. They’re at the entrance to the Western Wall. And the majority of Muslims don’t want weapons and terror in their holy places. So why the uproar about the metal detectors?

It’s not about the detectors. It’s about Israeli rule. You see, the administration of the Temple Mount is under the control of the Waqf, which is the Muslim religious authority. The “protector” of the religious shrines and mosques on the mount is officially the King of Jordan. So even though everyone knows quite well that Israel has ultimate control over the area, and that it is part of Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, as long as administrative authority remains in Muslim hands, the Muslims can imagine that they are in control of their holy places and that keeps them placated. We call this the “status quo”.

The placement of metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount is a clear display of Israeli rule over the area. And there’s no way the Muslims can ever accept Jews (or Christians) controlling their holy places. It goes against their core beliefs and their Koran (which calls for Jihad – holy war to spread Islamic control over the entire world).

So it’s not about security. It’s about ownership. Which is why the IDF and the Shin Bet have been recommending that the metal detectors be removed, since their pretense is inciting the Palestinian population to violence and unrest. But doing so would constitute a show of weakness and send the message that Israel doesn’t actually have ownership over the Temple Mount.

What is the answer? They haven’t found one just yet.

Honest Reporting
The media watch group Honest Reporting posted a video explaining the recent chain of events beginning with the terror attack and murder of two Israeli policemen to the vicious terror attack in which three members of the Salomon family were stabbed to death.

To view the video click here.

Jordanian Terror
An Israeli security guard at the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan was attacked by a 17-year-old Jordanian wielding a screwdriver. The guard managed to shoot and kill the attacker. The owner of the building where the attack took place—a Jordanian doctor—was struck by a stray bullet and killed. The security guard was stabbed in the chest and lightly wounded.

Israel has informed Jordan that according to the Vienna Convention, the security officer is immune from all criminal charges and civil suits in Jordan, and he will not be subject to arrest or interrogation. Currently, there is no official Jordanian request for the extradition of the Israeli security guard.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the Israeli ambassador in Jordan, Einat Schlein, on Sunday along with the security guard who was stabbed.

The 17 year old attacker apparently wanted to murder an Israeli out of nationalistic motives. He was delivering furniture that the embassy had ordered from his father’s shop when he decided to commit his terror attack.

In a demonstration in Amman on Friday, thousands of people protested against Israel while brandishing model rockets with the inscription “Al Aqsa—a red line.” Other protestors shouted, “How beautiful it is to kill soldiers in Jerusalem.”

For further reading click here.

Synagogues Attacked
Muslim demonstrators attacked two synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey this past week. The attackers said they were acting in response to the turmoil revolving around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. In both attacks the police cars usually stationed in front of each synagogue left the area prior to the attacks, which indicates that the government approved the attacks.

For further reading click here.