Israel News for January 20, 2016

Hezbollah Cell Busted
The Shin Bet arrested five Palestinians from the Tul-Karem area of the West Bank for planning to commit a terror attack. The five were part of a cell that got their orders from the son of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah via email. They also received $5,000 from Nasrallah Jr., which they used to purchase a gun that they planned to use in the attack.

The Shin Bet claims that Hezbollah’s “133 unit,” which recruits in the Middle East and Europe, has failed in its attempts to build terrorism networks in Israel. This incident is an exception.

For further reading click here.

PM Supports Ban
Speaking during a Knesset session commemorating the 67th anniversary of the legislative body’s creation, PM Netanyahu said that he would not hesitate to prohibit Palestinian workers from entering Jewish settlements as part of Israel’s war against terror.

He said, “We have a strong desire to maintain our and the Palestinians’ daily life, but we will not hesitate, if necessary, to ban the entry of Palestinian into [Israeli] towns. Our goal is to restore calm, coexistence and one day peace.”

The IDF commander of the Judea and Samaria division issued a temporary order banning Palestinian workers from settlements. The order does not include industrial parks, and will be reviewed on a daily basis.

For further reading click here.

Must Read
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Herzog Solution
Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) spoke at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv yesterday. He said that the two-state solution was impossible to realize under current conditions, and presented a new plan in which several Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem would be severed from the rest of the city and the separation barrier in the West Bank would be built to encompass all of the settlement blocs.

He said, “I wish to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible. They over there and we over here; we’ll erect a big wall between us. That is the kind of co-existence that’s possible now. You exist there and we exist here. Ariel Sharon did the right thing when he put up the fence that prevented the infiltration of suicide bombers, but he didn’t finish the job. We want to finish it, to complete the barrier that separates us … Israel must part from Netanyahu so that it becomes possible to part from the Palestinians.”

Herzog blasted PM Netanyahu and PA President Abbas for denying that a third intifada was imminent. He added that there will be no progress under Netanyahu since he’s made “a pact with the extreme right wing.”

Whereas Netanyahu is supported by those who want to annex Judea and Samaria, Herzog wants to keep the Jewish areas but separate in full from the Palestinian ones. He wants to separate totally Arab neighborhoods from Jerusalem, which is against the view of the right wing and the PM that Jerusalem must remain united, including all of the surrounding Arab areas. Herzog said, “Issawiya is not and won’t be part of Israel’s eternal capital. Neither is the refugee camp in Shoafat. We’ll separate from them. We’ll build a wall. Terrorists won’t have access to Jews.

Doesn’t sound so bad when you put it that way.

For further reading click here.

Ethiopian Women
In December of 2012, an investigative report was published that included testimony from 35 women immigrants from Ethiopia who claimed that they had been required to receive birth control shots as a condition for the processing of their requests to come to Israel. The main accusations were leveled against the Jewish Agency, the Joint Distribution
 Committee and the Health Ministry.

Prodded by several female Knesset members, the State Comptroller Joseph Shapira launched an investigation into the allegations in 2013. The investigation recently ended and Shapira concluded that “no evidence could be found for the claims raised that shots to prevent pregnancy were administered to Ethiopian women under pressure or threats, overt or covert, or in any way that was improper.”

Shapira had harsh words in his statement about the attitude of Israeli society to Ethiopian immigrants, which he said contributes to their sense of discrimination. He said one reason for this sense was that they feel they are not masters of their own fate, desires or dignity.

He wrote, “It is our obligation as a democratic and progressive society to fulfill the obligation to human dignity and liberty, as the Basic Law says to ensure equality as determined in the Declaration of Independence.”

For further reading click here.

Trump to Jerusalem
In an interview with the Brody Report, Republic presidential candidate Donald Trump said that he was 100% in favor of moving the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed in 1995 with overwhelming support in the House and Senate, called for the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem to take place no later than fiscal year 1999. But it has been waived by every president since them, citing U.S. national security concerns.

Whether Trump would be different, if he makes it to the Oval Office, is anyone’s guess. But if you believe what he says, then there’s hope: “We have a president that I think is the worst thing that has ever happened to Israel. But I will be backing it very strongly. They’re our best ally. They’re our best ally in the Middle East. They’ve really been loyal to us. We have not been loyal to them.”

For further reading click here.

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