Israel News for 9-28-17

Settlement Demands
The Yesha Council, representing the communities (settlements) in Judea and Samaria, presented PM Netanyahu with a list of grievances against his “discriminatory” policy against settlements and demanded that he commit to approving 10,000 new housing units in the settlements.

A few months ago, the government announced that NIS 116 billion from the state budget would be invested into a multi-year plan aimed at developing infrastructure. The plan, which was supposed to be implemented between 2017 and 2021, includes 147 projects throughout the state.

However, settlers were disheartened by the fact that according to the figures of the plans, the West Bank, which comprises an area equal to one-quarter of the size of the State of Israel and which has about 2.5 million inhabitants, is to be the recipient of a mere NIS 70 million, constituting 0.6 percent of the total budget.

Yesha representatives complained, “While in small Israel, both in the urban centers and in the periphery, huge investments are being made, in Judea and Samaria there is neglect that has been going on for years of everything related to the development of transportation, water, electricity and gas infrastructure.”

Yesha leaders are upset that Netanyahu doesn’t seem to be taking advantage of what appears to be a very pro-Israel US administration. The PM, however, does not want to antagonize the Trump, who has asked him to hold off on settlement expansion. Trump officials reportedly told the PM not to be a “Hazer” (the Yiddish word for pig) when it comes to settlements.

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Interpol Farce
Despite intense lobbying by Israel and the US, the Interpol general assembly yesterday voted 75 to 24 (with 34 abstentions) to admit the Palestinian Authority into the international policing organization.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki hailed the vote as a “victory for law enforcement” and “voice of confidence in the capacity of law enforcement in Palestine.” He promised to uphold Palestinian commitments to combating crime and strengthening the rule of law.
Zeev Elkin, Israel’s Minister of Environmental Protection and a close associate of Netanyahu, said in retaliation for the Palestinians joining Interpol, Israel should cancel gestures granted to the Palestinians, including work and entry permits, and special travel permits for Palestinian leaders.

So even though “Palestine” is not a state and the PA openly supports terror by paying pensions to the families of terrorists and by not condemning all acts of terror against Israel, the Palestinians will now be privy to all the valuable counter terrorism intelligence used by Interpol in the war against terror. Let’s hope too much info isn’t leaked to Hamas or other related terror organizations.

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Busy Borders
Security forces had a busy day at Israel’s borders yesterday. Two fighter jets were scrambled near the Jordanian border when a Jordanian civilian aircraft got a bit too close to the border. The plans returned to base when it became clear that the plane would not cross the border.

In the south, IDF forces apprehended a Palestinian who crossed the Gaza border into Israel. He was taken for questioning and appeared to be unarmed.

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Training Tragedy
Two IDF soldiers in an artillery who were killed in a training accident in the Golan Heights early Wednesday morning when a self-propelled cannon overturned into a ditch. The two were Second Lieutenant Avshalom Armoni, 22, of Beit Horon and Sergeant Avinoam Cohen, 22, of Jerusalem. Four other soldiers were injured. Armoni was the cousin of Na’ama Henkin, who was killed with her husband Eitam in a drive-by shooting terror attack in October 2015.

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of Avinoam Cohen at Mount Hertlz military cemetery yesterday. He was a student at the Elon Moreh yeshiva. His sister had given birth just a few hours after the accident and came to the funeral on a stretcher, straight from the hospital.

Cohen’s father eulogized, “Today, the people of Israel lost a pure soul, right before Yom Kippur. For 22 years we had this gift and we now have to return it, and we did. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts. But we accept it.”

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Gift to UN
Israel presented the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) with a replica of a portion of the Arch of Titus depicting the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The replica, created by Israel’s Antiquities Authority, depicts a triumphal procession by Roman soldiers returning from destroying the Second Temple and carrying the Temple’s Menorah.

Israel hopes that the replica, which will be put on display at UNESCO’s headquarters, will serve as a reminder that the Second Temple had existed on the Temple Mount, a fact denied by the Arab states and the Palestinians.

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