Israel News for January 28, 2016

Terror Attack
A Palestinian, around 18 years old, stabbed a 36 yr. old Israeli man outside a restaurant in a gas station near Giva’at Ze’ev, just north of Jerusalem, yesterday. The terrorist fled the scene but was chased down and caught by a group of civilians, who held him until police arrived and evacuated him in an ambulance. The terrorist was lightly wounded when he was caught.
The victim of the attack was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem in serious condition, with stab wounds to his upper body.

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Obama First
President Obama spoke at an International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony held at the Israeli Embassy in Washington yesterday. As, Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. pointed out in his opening remarks, “This is the first time a sitting president has ever spoken to our embassy.” He called the gesture “a message of friendship.”

Obama spoke out strongly against anti-semitism saying,

“Anti-Semitism is on the rise, we cannot deny it. When we see Jews leaving Europe… and attacks on Jewish centers from Mumbai to Kansas; when we see swastikas appear on college campuses, we must not stay silent.

When any Jew anywhere is targeted, we must all respond as if we are all Jewish… we must all do what we can… we have a responsibility, and as president I will make sure the US is leading the fight against anti-Semitism.”

The ceremony specifically honored four individuals who saved Jews during the holocaust, declaring them to be among the “righteous of the nations.” One of the four was Tennessee native Master Sergeant Roddie Edwards, who resisted Nazi demands that he identify Jewish U.S. soldiers in the POW camp where he was the ranking non-commissioned officer. Edwards told the Nazi commandant, “we are all Jews here,” even when threatened with death. Edwards’ courage saved around 200 Jewish POWs.

Obama echoed his words by saying that when it comes to anti-semitism, “we are all indeed Jews.” The President also reiterated America’s steadfast and unconditional support for Israel’s security and the unbreakable bond between the two nations.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the date of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945.

Watch the video of the entire ceremony here.

Hebron Houses
According to Haaretz, the investigation launched into the ownership of the two houses in Hebron that were occupied by Jewish families who were subsequently evicted by the IDF last week, could drag on for years.

On Sunday, after several cabinet members protested, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the settlers would be allowed to return after the necessary permits were obtained.

Documents submitted to the Civil Administration indicate that the buildings were purchased in 2008 from their owners by the Israel Land Fund, which purchases property from Arabs. In 2012 the houses were transferred to Al-Aydun al-Akarat, a company owned by former Shin Bet agent Assaf Nehmad.

Even if ownership is conclusively proven, the complete registration process required to take possession of the houses could take several years.

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Jordan Apologizes
Back in December we reported the story of an Israeli family heading to Jordan on vacation who had their religious articles confiscated by Jordanian border guards. The guards claimed that Jordanian law prohibited the possession of Jewish religious articles in the kingdom. The family decided to scrap their Jordanian vacation and stay in Israel.

Yesterday Channel 2 News reported that the Jordanian Foreign Ministry apologized for the incident, but confirmed that entering the kingdom with a tallit or tefillin was prohibited. The Ministry claimed that the ban is in place to protect the safety of tourists.

The apology came after intensive talks between the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Jordan, which started in December after the incident was originally made public by the family in a Facebook post.

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Palestinian Returns
The Palestinian Authority’s Coordination and Liaison Department has announced that, in 2015, it returned 634 Israeli citizens to Israel who entered PA territory either mistakenly or to deal drugs.

Besides returning lost Israelis, the department also deals with issues relating to Palestinians who want to go to Israel for medical treatment, Palestinian farmers with land in Israeli controlled territory, the entrance of Palestinian paramedics into Israeli controlled areas, and the return of terrorist corpses to their families.

Tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

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