Israel News for February 10, 2017

Terror Attack
A 19 year old Palestinian terrorist opened fire on people near a crowded market in the Israeli city of Petah Tikva yesterday afternoon. The terrorist ran from the scene while continuing to shoot at people until his homemade firearm jammed, while he was in front of a sewing machine shop. He then started attacking people with a screwdriver until he was finally neutralized when someone threw a sewing machine at his head.

Three people suffered gunshot wounds to the lower parts of their bodies and two suffered stab wounds. There were no fatalities. All of the wounded, including the terrorist, were taken to the city hospital.

Late last night IDF forces raided the family home of the terrorist in the Nablus area, where they questioned people and confiscated entry permits into Israel. The IDF also raided other locations and arrested terror suspects.

Early this morning a car with PA license plates attempted to ram soldiers near Hebron. The driver missed and fled the scene.

For further reading click here.

UK Condemns
The United Kingdom House of Commons passed a resolution on Thursday that condemned Israeli settlement activity and affirmed United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 that call on Israel to halt such action.

This comes just days after PM Netanyahu met with British PM May in London.

For further reading click here.

Trump Interview
An interview with President Trump was published in Israel Hayom, the Israeli daily owned by Republican party donor Sheldon Adelson. It was the first interview granted to an Israeli media outlet since Trump took office [coincidence that the paper is owned by Adelson, who had dinner with Trump last night?]

In the interview Trump praised Netanyahu and promised, “we’ll have better relations with Israel.” Regarding settlement expansion Trump said, “I don’t want to condemn Israel. Israel has a long history of condemnations and challenges. I don’t want to condemn Israel during my administration. I understand Israel very well and respect it very much. Israelis have gone through very difficult periods. I want peace between Israelis and Palestinians and even more than that. I think peace for Israel would be great for Israel, not just good.”

However, while declining to condemn settlement expansion, Trump said he doesn’t think they are helpful for achieving peace. He said, “There is limited land left, and every time you take land for settlements, there’s less land left. I’m not someone who believes that advancing the settlements is good for peace. But we’re checking all the possibilities.”

When asked about moving the embassy to Jerusalem he said, “I’m thinking about it. I’m learning the subject, and we’ll see what happens. It’s not an easy decision. It’s already been debated for years. No one didn’t want to make the decisions, and I’m thinking very seriously about it.” That’s not quite what he said during his election campaign, when he unequivocally promised to move the embassy asap.

Regarding reaching a peace agreement Trump said, “No deal is good if it’s not good for both sides. Right now we’re in a process that’s lasted for years, decades. A lot of people think that it is impossible to do this [to reach a final status agreement], a lot of smart people around me say it is impossible to reach an agreement. I don’t agree with them. I think that it is possible to reach an agreement, and we need to reach an agreement.”

New Website
The Defense Ministry has launched a new Arabic language website to provide Palestinians with information about the corruption and civil rights abuses by the PA and Hamas leadership. It also will publish news that is being suppressed by the Palestinian leadership. Palestinians will also be able to download work permit forms and other useful forms.

For further reading click here.

Tu Bishvat
Tomorrow is Tu Bishvat (the 15th day in the Hebrew month of Shvat), which is the new year for trees. It marks the time when the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. It also represents the idea that renewal and redemption begins even in the darkest times. Tu Bishvat is marked by eating fruit of the Land of Israel, such as dates, figs, pomegranates, grapes etc.

To read more about Tu Bishvat click here.