israel news settlements

Israel News for December 8, 2015

Hebron Terror
A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli man near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron yesterday. The terrorist, an 18 year old male from Hebron, was shot and killed by Border Police. The victim, in his 40’s, was wounded in his upper body and evacuated to a hospital in Jerusalem in critical condition.

Last night dozens of Jewish men and women gathered in the streets of Hebron to protest the terror attack. Shortly after they began, however, some Palestinians began throwing rocks at them. Police protected the demonstrators and no casualties were reported.

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You Can Run
Also last night, IDF forces arrested a Palestinian in a hotel in Ramallah who had participated in a terror attack in October. The terrorist had been shot and wounded in the original attack and had been evacuated by a Red Crescent ambulance to a hospital in Ramallah, from where he went into hiding from security forces. He is now in Shin Bet custody.
You can run, but you can’t hide.

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Price Tag
A 21 year old man, David Or Shachar, from Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion was convicted by a Jerusalem district court for attacking two Palestinians and an IDF soldier who tried to defend them, in addition to several other “Price Tag” (revenge acts against Palestinians by Jewish youth in the West Bank) incidents over the past couple of years. The man admitted his crimes and expressed regret for committing them.

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Tunnel Busters
Egypt’s military has announced that they found and destroyed twenty tunnels along their border with Gaza in November. Thank you Egypt for fighting terror.

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Doll Busters
Customs officials in Haifa have impounded a shipment of dangerous items bound for the Palestinian Authority from the United Arab Emirates: dolls. Each of the 4,000 stuffed children’s dolls seized wears a keffiyeh, holds a rock in its hand, and bears the slogans ‘Jerusalem is ours’ or ‘Jerusalem, we are coming!’

What about all those kids who won’t have anything to play with now? Israeli officials are considering sending the PA an equivalent number of “Mensch on a Bench” instead (that’s a joke, but it’s really quite sad and scary to think about the hatred and incitement that’s being instilled in the next generation of Palestinians).

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Mossad Chief
PM Netanyahu announced last night that National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen will be the new head of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency (similar to the CIA).

Cohen, 54, is a former deputy chief of the Mossad and former head of the organization’s Tzomet division, which operates agents. He’ll start his new job when the current Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, steps down in January.

While Cohen, a 30 year Mossad veteran, headed Tzomet, he and his subordinates received the prestigious Israel Defense Prize, which recognizes achievements in improving state security and maintaining Israel’s power and qualitative advantage on the battlefield.

Cohen is a graduate of the Or Etzion religious military preparatory high school headed up by Rav Druckman. He is married with four children and resides in Modiin, which happens to have been the hometown of the Macabbees. That might explain his Hanukkah appointment. Well, you never know.

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US Donors
According to a Haaretz investigative report, US donors provided $220 million in funding for Jewish communities in the West Bank through a network of around 50 tax exempt organizations between 2009 and 2013. Initial data for 2014 suggests that figures for last year could be even higher.

One of the largest U.S. organizations involved in funding Jewish communities in the West Bank is the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund. It transferred $5.7 million to the Jewish settlement in Hebron from 2009-2014. Much of the funding has been invested in parks, playgrounds and libraries, in line with the fund’s stated goal of “the improvement of the daily life for the residents of Hebron.”

In general the Israeli government is the primary funder of the West Bank communities, providing security, construction, infrastructure, education and cultural activities. The money from US donors is just icing on the cake.

Does this tax exempt funding from private US citizens mean that the US government is indirectly funding settlements in the West Bank? Haaretz is making that argument, but the US government doesn’t seem to be too troubled by it.

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Eilat Flop
Did you ever think it would be cool to have a biblical theme park in Israel? Well, you’d be wise to put that thought on the back burner. The Kings City amusement and theme park in Eilat is shutting down after 10 years of lackluster performance.

Kings City was built as a Disney-like Old Testament theme park complete with the Bible Cave, the Illusion Cave, the David Spiral Slides, and of course, the King Solomon Falls. It cost around 160 million shekels to build, and millions more to promote. It attracted over 250,000 visitors on average a year, primarily Israeli. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to make it financially feasible or profitable.

The property will probably be demolished and be used as a site for more hotels.

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