Israel News for February 19, 2016

Jerusalem Terror
A Palestinian terrorist stabbed two Border Police officers at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City today. The officers shot and killed the terrorist. Both officers were lightly wounded and a passerby was lightly wounded by shrapnel from the shooting. The Damascus Gate has been the scene of 11 terror attacks in the last 5 months, including the one that killed police officer Hadar Cohen.

For further reading click here.

More Terror
Two 14-year-old Palestinians entered a Rami Levi supermarket in the Sha’ar Binyamin Industrial Zone north of Jerusalem, which services both Israelis and Palestinians, and stabbed two Israelis yesterday. They killed 21-year-old Sergeant Tuvia Yanai Weissman and wounded a 36-year-old man. Weissman, a resident of Ma’ale Michmash in the Binyamin region of the West Bank, was in civilian clothes and shopping with his wife and 4-month-old baby when he was murdered.

Shoppers pushed the terrorists back with shopping carts. A civilian at the scene then shot and wounded them. One later died of his wounds in hospital. According to the Shin Bet these are the youngest terrorist to have carried out a deadly attack during the current wave of violence.

Hundreds of mourners attended Weissman’s funeral today at Har Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem. Weissman’s father eulogized his son saying, “You loved your daughter, Neta, so much. You took her to see the flowers in the Negev the day before you were murdered. No hate and no enemy will ever stop that.”

The 36-year-old man wounded in the attack is reported to be in stable condition at Hadassah
Hospital in Jerusalem.

The IDF is preparing the homes of the two terrorists for demolition.

For further reading click here.

Russian intervention
Russia is not happy with Israel’s rapprochement with Turkey. In a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Israel’s Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold that took place in Moscow yesterday, Lavrov expressed Putin’s dissatisfaction with the contacts between Israel and Turkey regarding a pending reconciliation agreement that would end a five-year crisis in relations between the two countries provoked by the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, where Israeli commandos raided a Turkish ship that was headed for Gaza, killing nine.

The Russians, whose already rocky relations with Turkey reached an all time low following the downing of a Russian jet over Syria last November, are concerned about some of the benefits that the government of President Erdoğan will receive in the context of an agreement with Israel and are not happy about Turkey gaining a strong foothold in Gaza, where they would be given free access and special status to import humanitarian equipment as part of the potential agreement with Israel.

The question is, does what Russia thinks really matter to Israel?

For further reading click here.

Rent Difficulties
If you think renting is tough in New York, you won’t find it any easier in Israel. The Tel Aviv Municipality’s Center for Young Adults surveyed 1,080 renters, 62% of whom live in Tel Aviv, 9% in Jerusalem, 8% in Beersheva, and the rest in other cities including Ramat Gan, Haifa, Rehovot, Petah Tikva, Givatayim, and Holon.

According to the survey, 36% of renters noted they cannot afford their rent and relied on parental assistance to make their monthly payments, 31% said they were forced to move apartments due to a rent increase, and 35% said that their landlord did not properly maintain the property and reported the landlord asked them to pay for repairs that fall under the property owner’s responsibility.

If you’re looking for stability, forget about it. According to the survey, 29% of respondents said they had to move at least three apartments in the past five years.

Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai summed it up like this:
“The survey shows once again the rental market in Israel is broken; the steep price increases and lack of stability are wearing out our youth. It is a lawless market, and the party needs to be ended by legislation to regulate and improve terms for both renters and landlords.”

While the survey focused primarily on Tel Aviv, a market that doesn’t reflect the average Israeli rental market (like Manhattan doesn’t represent most of America), it still sheds light on a major problem that is facing a significant proportion of Israel’s younger population.

For further reading click here.

Angel Revealed – Part II
A few days ago we told you the story of the man who overheard a young female soldier crying on the phone pleading with the Electric Company to restore her electricity which they cut off due to non payment. The man, Ofir Yitzhak, grabbed the phone and paid the entire balance of 1,915 shekels. Another soldier who witnessed the incident posted it on Facebook, calling the man an angel.

While the story warmed the hearts of thousands and restored our faith in humanity, many of us couldn’t help but feel a little angry at the Israel Electric Company for being so heartless. Sure, you wouldn’t expect any better in the U.S., but hey, it’s Israel. Well, you can relax.

A recording of the conversation between the young soldier and Shirli, the clerk at the Electric Company, has been released. In the recording Shirli expresses her deep sympathy for the soldier’s unfortunate situation and is barely able to hold back her tears. She calls her supervisor to explain the situation and plead the soldier’s case. The supervisor decides to reconnect the electricity. All this occurs before the man takes the phone to pay the entire bill.

So now there are three angels instead of just one. Perhaps the truth is that we’re all angels — all we need to do is take a step and reveal ourselves.

To listen to the conversation with the Electric Company click here.