hebron cave of machpela

Israel News for 7-26-17

House Reoccupied
Around a hundred settlers have moved into the Machpela House in Hebron. The ownership of the house has been disputed. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim ownership over the five story structure.

The group’s spokesman Shlomo Levinger said the decision to occupy the structure was made in response to “government zig-zagging” regarding violence surrounding the Temple Mount.

PM Netanyahu has ordered the Defense Minister not to evict the settlers (for the time being).

Jews were evicted from the building in 2012, when the Civil Administration claimed that they did not have sufficient evidence to prove ownership.

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Shin Bet Speaks
Shin Bet (Israel’s version of the FBI) Director Nadav Argaman expressed his approval of the cabinet decision to remove the Temple Mount metal detectors and cameras. He said, “Against the complicated and emotional background of the Temple Mount site, the cabinet decision balances many complicated considerations and it was the most appropriate decision for the security of the state and its citizens.”

Not all Israeli security officials agree. During the cabinet meeting, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh warned, “If we surrender to this baseless claim of logic and remove the metal detectors and cameras, it will only give the Waqf an appetite for success.” He also claimed that without metal detectors the situation will deteriorate further and all other inspection methods will only be more invasive. Both the IDF and Shin Bet urged the government to remove the metal detectors in order to avoid the risk of a third intifada.

According to a Channel 2 News poll published yesterday, 77 percent of participants responded “yes” when asked whether the removal of the metal detectors constituted capitulation, while 17 percent said “no” and six percent said they didn’t know.

When asked whether it was the right decision to place the metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount in the first place, 68 percent said “yes,” 23 percent said “no” and nine percent said they didn’t know.

Regardless of Israel’s moves to diffuse the situation, the Palestinians, lead by the Waqf, have rejected any new security arrangements and continue to order worshippers not to enter the Temple Mount. Last night thousands gathered for prayer outside the Lion’s Gate. After prayers some worshippers threw rocks and bottles at police.

Palestinian leaders are calling for large demonstrations outside the Temple Mount on Friday.

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Terrorist Corpses
Israel’s Supreme Court yesterday ordered police to return the bodies of the three terrorists who murdered two Israeli policemen outside the Temple Mount to their families for burial. The funerals will be held at the Farouk Mosque in Umm al-Fahm (in northern Israel), where the three terrorists are from.

The court allowed police to set restrictions to the funerals to ensure public order and prevent clashes and violent rioting.The police have insisted that the funerals be held in the middle of the night with a limited amount of participants, but the families have refused to commit to those terms.

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No Entry
The Israeli Government has cracked down on enforcing a law that bans anti-Israel activists from entering the country. The law states that Israel will deny entry and residence to “senior or significant officials in prominent boycott organizations, people who take active, consistent and continuous action to promote boycotts within the framework of prominent or independent boycott organizations, institutions that promote boycotts actively and continuously and activists who come to Israel on behalf of one of the most prominent boycott organizations.”

Yesterday five American Jewish, Christian and Muslim BDS activists were informed at their departure points in the US that they would not be permitted to enter Israel. The five American leaders who were barred from entry were from the advocacy groups Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine and the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, which is active within the Presbyterian Church (USA), a Protestant denomination that voted three years ago to divest from some companies in protest of Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

This is the first time that Israel has enforced this anti-BDS regulation.

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