Israel News for August 4, 2016

Fireworks Attack
Violence has drastically decreased in East Jerusalem, but it hasn’t disappeared. Last night policemen in Ma’ale ha-Zeitim had fireworks launched directly at them from the Arab neighborhood of Ras al-Amud. This isn’t an isolated incident. Residents of the Jewish Ma’ale ha-Zeitim have been suffering fireworks attacks for years. The police is working on arresting the offenders and confiscating fireworks stocks. According to Joshua Wander, a member of the Ma’ale ha-Zeitim security committee, “There has been a significant drop in the number of attacks compared to last year, but there are still stone-throwing and attacks on the residents.”

To watch a video of the attack, click here.

Homes Demolished
IDF forces destroyed the homes of the two terrorists who committed the Tel Aviv Sarona Market attack, in the village of Yatta near Hebron.

To see images of the demolition, click here.

Hamas Strike
About 100 Hamas prisoners in the Israeli Nafcha prison have started a hunger strike to protest the transfer of several units of prisoners to different prisons. The reason for the transfer was to make it difficult for the terrorists to communicate which each other and with Hamas leaders outside the prisons. Several Hamas leaders were involved in the prisoner shuffle.

The prison authority is constantly confiscating mobile phones thrown in from across the prison fences or smuggling in by visiting relatives.

Hamas prisoners are threatening other forms of disorder in addition to the hunger strike. There are currently 1,700 Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails.

For further reading click here.

Tunnel Barrier
The Defense Department is accepting bids from companies to build an underground concrete barrier around Gaza to block tunnels from entering Israel. The Gaza border with Israel is 60 kilometers.

The concrete barriers will extend several stories underground and will include above ground sections as well. Besides being used as a physical barrier against terror tunnels which cross into Israel, the sophisticated barrier will also be able to detect tunnel digging close to it, something which will enable the IDF to destroy these terror tunnels before they pose a threat.

Work is set to begin in October and will be divided among four Israeli companies. The project is estimated to cost over 2 billion shekels. Gaza will not be paying for the wall.

For further reading click here.

Epic Irony
In an epic case of irony, it turns out that Israel has been purchasing gas masks, since 1967, from two German companies who supplied the Nazis with gas masks to protect them at the gas chambers in Auschwitz. The two companies have a lock on the Israeli market, and supply the Defense Ministry, the Firefighting and Rescue Commission, Israel Railways, the Israel Police and the Israel Prison Service.

One of the companies, MSA, responded to comments about its past saying, “As a company whose foundations are based in ethics, decency and the commitment to protect people, MSA strongly condemns the horrors Nazi Germany committed against humanity. For over 100 years, our sole mission has been to protect the well-being and safety of people worldwide. MSA’s masks helped in keeping firefighters, police officers, emergency teams, industrial workers and soldiers—including in the Israeli army—from harm.”

The Israeli government isn’t bothered by the history of the companies either. But not everyone is happy with the arrangement. Likud MK Oren Hazan is currently working on a bill to prevent in the future the purchase and use of equipment from companies that worked with the Nazis.

For further reading click here.

Jaffa Protest
Leaders of the elected Islamic Council in Jaffa have erected a protest tent to demonstrate their opposition to Jews moving in to predominantly Arab neighborhoods of the city, calling the Jews “settlers”.

Jewish groups have been purchasing property and moving into Arab neighborhoods in the Jaffa in an organized fashion, in an attempt to strengthen the Jewish character and presence in the city. Does living in Jaffa (which is technically part of Tel Aviv) make a Jew a settler?

For further reading click here.