Lt. David Golovenchich

Israel News for 7-5-17

Tragic Accident
Yesterday, 22-year-old Lieutenant David Golovenchich from Efrat was killed when a fellow soldier accidentally fired his rifle during a routine patrol in Hebron. Golovenchich was serving in Golani’s 12th battalion, which is in charge of the Hebron sector. He received emergency treatment at the scene and was rushed to a nearby hospital by helicopter, where he succumbed to his wounds.

Golovenchich will be buried today at 4:00pm with full military honors at the Har Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem. He is survived by his parents, two sisters, and two brothers.

The commander of the Central Command, Major General Roni Numa, has appointed a committee of experts headed by Colonel Ronen Tamim, the head of the Idan division, to investigate the circumstances of the incident.

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Terror Foiled
Border Police stopped and searched a vehicle at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Jerusalem and found a bag containing knives, stun and grenades and Molotov cocktails. The six men in the car, all from Nablus, were arrested for questioning.

For further reading click here.

Drone Crash
An IDF Skylark drone crashed in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday. The IDF said it was investigating the crash and that there was no fear of leaked information from the aircraft. Last Thursday, another Skylark crashed near Bethlehem before being recovered by the IDF.

According to a senior IDF officer, “The majority of crashes are caused by technical failures and that appears to be the case with this particular crash as well. A technical failure can be caused by a particular component flaw or the engine. People need to understand this is a very basic aircraft, certainly relative to the incredible things it can do. The system is very widely used and every incident such as this is investigated thoroughly by the IDF and the manufacturer to reduce the amount of failures.”

The Skylark drone does not retain any intelligence data and can only be operated by its handlers via a special operating device. The IDF claims that there is absolutely no practical value to the enemy that finds the downed drone.

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No Demolition
The Supreme Court rejected a petition by the Abu Khdeir family demanding the demolition of the homes of the Jews convicted in the brutal murder of their son. The families wanted the same punishment applied to Arab terrorists to be applied to the Jewish murderers.

Judge Rubinstein noted that regulation 119—which allows ordering the demolition of a home where suspected terror activity occurred or a home of terrorists, their accomplices or supporters—applies both to Arab terrorists and to Jewish terrorists.

However, the judges pointed out that demolition is used as a deterrent and not as a punitive measure. Judge Neal Hendel pointed out that while “we can understand how the victim’s family feels… we are dealing with a deterrent and not punitive measure. It should be remembered that the perpetrators were given lengthy prison sentence.”

In May 2016, Yosef Ben-David was sentenced to life (25 years) and a cumulative punishment of an additional 20 years in prison. One of the minors was sentenced to “only” 21 years in prison after judges determined that he played a “minor role” in the murder, while his accomplice received a life sentence.

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Indian Visit
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off a three day visit to Israel yesterday by thanking PM Netanyahu for his warm friendship and by saying, “India is a young nation, in which talented youth is the driving force. In a world where rapid progress and development is taking place, India considers Israel as one of its most important partners.” Modi is first Indian PM to visit Israel in the 25 years since Indi and Israel established diplomatic relations.

PM Netanyahu welcomed Modi and said, “We love India and admire its culture, its history and democracy, your commitments and your progress. We see you as close souls in the task of bringing a better future for citizens and the world.”

During the welcome ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport Netanyahu introduced Modi to all of his cabinet ministers and got most of their portfolios right. When he introduced Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, he pointed out that he was also the Foreign Minister. In addition to welcoming the Indian PM and shaking his hand, some of the ministers added their own personal comments.

To watch a video of the welcome ceremony click here.

Herzog Ousted
Isaac Herzog was ousted from his role as leader of the Labor Party when he suffered a resounding defeat in the first round of the Labor Party primaries yesterday. The winners were Amir Peretz and Avi Gabay, who will go head to head in a runoff on July 10th. Around 52,000 registered party members participated in the voting.

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Aliyah Day
Over 200 North Americans celebrated the Fourth of July by making Aliyah – immigrated to Israel. Among the new olim, who arrived on a flight organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh, were 14 new IDF soldiers, 5 sets of twins, 34 families, 78 children and 51 singles. Over 2,000 new immigrants from North America are scheduled to arrive in Israel this summer.

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US Navy
The US Navy’s USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, with its 6,000 sailors, is docked in Haifa for a four day stay. Sailors are taking advantage of the opportunity to tour and get acquainted with the country, especially the Haifa pubs.

One Haifa bartender, Daniella, described the Americans: “They are very polite. They don’t demand anything. They say ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me’. They are polite and fun. It’s an experience seeing them be so polite. I wish every Israeli would be like that.” Go Navy!

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