Israel News for March 14, 2016

Terror in Kiryat Arba
Two armed terrorists in a car opened fire on a group of soldiers at a bus stop in Kiryat Arba, near Hebron, today. A 20 year old soldier was lightly wounded. Both terrorists were shot and killed at the scene.

Moments later, while soldiers were active at the scene of the first attack, a Palestinian rammed his car into an officer at the scene. The terrorist was shot and killed when he tried to exit his vehicle. Two other soldiers were lightly wounded by shrapnel from the shooting.

Following the attacks the IDF raided the homes of the three terrorists in Hebron.

To watch videos of the attacks, click here.

Indonesia Barred
Israel denied permission for the Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to enter the Palestinian Territories to dedicate an honorary consulate there, after she refused to first meet with Israeli officials in Jerusalem.

Indonesia does not have official diplomatic ties with Israel, but the two states communicate quietly and maintain economic and tourism ties. In 2013, 300,000 Indonesian tourists visited Israel, which reflects a huge increase over the past few years since 2009, when less than 10,000 visited.

Indonesia asked Israel, through diplomatic channels, to allow its foreign minister to visit Ramallah, but the Prime Minister’s Office instructed authorities to bar her entry. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki will meet the foreign minister in Jordan.

The Indonesian government recently appointed a Palestinian to serve as Indonesia’s honorary representative to the Palestinian Authority. He will work to strengthen economic, social, and cultural ties and to encourage tourism and business exchanges.

For further reading click here.

Sweden vs. BDS
Following a meeting with MK Tzipi Livni of the opposition Labor Union party in Stockholm, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has agreed to publicly denounce the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Wallstrom has previously made controversial statements against Israel, including accusing Israel of extrajudicial executions and of being a cause of radical Islamic terror.

Livni was in Stockholm to give a speech for “Israel Day,” an anti-BDS conference organized by the Jewish community in Sweden. In her speech and in meetings with members of Swedish parliament, Livni talked about ways to effectively isolate the movement – with a sharp distinction between “the small organization which denies the legitimacy of Israel, and which hopes to flood it with refugees, and those who get swept up in the movements through a misunderstanding of their goals.”

Livni’s next stop is Berlin. Keep up the good work!

For further reading click here.

Top Cop Decision
Despite a recent wave of sexual harassment allegations and trials against senior police officers, Israel’s Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich declared last week that, “Anonymous letters have turned into a culture of settling scores in the police force, and as such, from now on the police will not deal with anonymous letters that raise suspicions of violations by policemen. In an organization that requires reporting by policemen, there is no need for such letters.”

While Alscheich’s goal is to prevent baseless accusations that can ruin the reputations of innocent officers, the fact remains that most of the major investigations launched in sexual harassment cases that resulted in guilty verdicts were in response to anonymous tips.

The Justice Ministry’s police investigation unit announced on Sunday that it would continue to look into all anonymous accusations and tips saying, “The department is authorized to investigate complaints leading to suspicion of the commission of a crime by a policeman even when they come from unidentified sources. Every complaint that reaches the department will be investigated as has been done until now.”

For further reading click here.

Download Tax
The Israeli Treasury is proposing that overseas companies be required to pay VAT (value added tax) on electronic products sold via download. Currently, when Israelis download products such as songs and ebooks from overseas vendors, they are technically required to voluntarily declare their purchases and pay VAT on them. Obviously, very little tax is collected. If the new proposal passes, the overseas companies will be required to register with the Israel Tax Authority and pay the VAT, which is currently at 17%. That means higher prices for consumers.

For further reading click here.

Beware of Dog
If you’re planning to visit the Prime Minister’s residence, you might want to be especially careful around the PM’s dog. Kaiya, the Netanyahu’s “First Pooch”, has been known to sink her teeth into select individuals. At a Hanukkah lighting ceremony at the residence last year Kaiya bit MK Sharren Haskel (Likud) and the husband of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. Just recently she struck again, this time biting a security guard.

The Netanyahus don’t seem bothered, and are sticking with Kaiya. If you’ve got a problem, then don’t visit!

For further reading click here.