Israel News for January 25, 2016

PM Defends DM
PM Netanyahu defended Defense Minister Ya’alon’s eviction of Jews from two houses in the Old City of Hebron that they moved into last week. The PM said that if, “anyone bought an apartment in the Muqata compound in Ramallah (seat of the Palestinian Authority) no one would expect the IDF to protect him so he could live there.”

The Jews claim to have purchased the houses legally, but the Defense Minister claims that they did not follow legal procedures and get the authorization required to take possession of property.

Several Likud and Bayit Yehudi MK’s attacked Ya’alon, prompting the leaders of the coalition parties to establish a ministerial committee in charge of “improving coordination between the government, the security establishment and the settlements’ leadership on construction in the settlements.” The committee will include Ya’alon, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, and will function as an “advisory body” in settlement-related matters.

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TV Incitement
The Shin Bet has announced that the 15 yr. old terrorist who murdered Dafna Meir in Otniel last week was motivated to carry out his attack by incitement on Palestinian television, which presented Israel as “the killer of Palestinian youngsters.”

The Shin Bet issued a statement saying, “The severe consequences of the attack show once more the seriousness of the threat posed by the Palestinian media’s wild incitement against the State of Israel and Jews, which influences lone-wolf attackers to commit murder and carry out serious terror attacks.”

The suspect’s father said, “If I would have known I would have prevented this and even handed him in. I hope it turns out he is innocent.”

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the teen committed the murder after a falling out with his father and deciding to either become a martyr or get arrested and be sent to jail.

Deputy Defense Minister Tipi Hotovely continues to speak out strongly against Palestinian incitement that she claims is financed in large part by funds received from foreign governments. In an Wall Street Journal op-ed, Hotovely called on the international community to condition its funding of the PA on a close inspection of whether or not it will stop inciting terror and funding the families of terrorists. She has reiterated her views in meetings with European foreign ministers.

Hotovely recently published figures showing that the PA continues to fund terrorism and support terrorists, both by broadcasting programs inciting terror, and actively financing the families of terrorists, with the relatives of those who succeed in murdering Israelis receiving a larger reward.

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IAF Strikes
Israeli jets struck a Hamas-affiliated target inside Gaza early today in retaliation for a rocket fired at Israel last night. The rocket landed in an open area near the Gaza border causing no injuries or damage. While there were no group has yet to claim responsibility for the rocket attack, Israel holds Hamas responsible for everything that happens in Gaza.

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Building Enforcement
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has approved recommendations to increase enforcement of planning and construction laws and regulations, with a special emphasis on the Arab and Druze communities.

Planning officials within the Arab community say that there are some 50,000 houses in Arab communities that have no construction permits.

Arab Knesset members lashed out at the new initiative, even threatening violence. MK Basel Ghattas said: “We have been working for years to freeze demolition orders to arrive at an arrangement regarding construction that is not according to the law, but the authorities ignore this demand.”

Ghattas warned that if the government pursued this course, “the outcome will be very severe for both sides. We have no interest in violent conflict between the Arab minority and the state, but if this policy continues, it will come. The state…makes itself the enemy of the Arab citizens with its own two hands.”

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Close Call
Israel’s plans to export billions of dollars worth of natural gas to Egypt almost unraveled when an Italian exploration company discovered a massive Egyptian gas field last August. But fear not. The company’s original output estimate for the field has just been cut in half. Too bad for Egypt, but good news for Israeli gas exports.

Ring Returned
One bride-to-be is counting her blessings, and probably being a bit more careful with her jewelry.

On Thursday, the young woman in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Geula neighborhood, who is set to get married next month, placed her diamond engagement ring in her pocket while emptying her trash into a receptacle on the street.

There was also a small, empty food bag in her pocket which she also discarded, and the ring allegedly fell into the bag before she threw it into the dumpster. When she searched for her ring in her pocket, it wasn’t there.

Just her luck a garbage truck had just emptied the dumpster. The woman realized what had happened and immediately alerted the driver to the problem.

After a search on the street failed to locate the ring, the truck – with the approval of the municipal authorities – was taken to a city warehouse and emptied to enable the family to search for the ring. The family then sent out a notice asking members of the public to help them with their search.

The searchers didn’t end up finding the ring. It turns out that a Jerusalem man, who wishes to remain anonymous, had already found the ring on the street on Thursday, but didn’t hear about the search until after Shabbat. When he did, he immediately contacted the family and returned the ring.

Mazal Tov!!

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