Israel News for March 2, 2016

Terror Attack Foiled
Two 17 year old terrorists infiltrated into the town of Eli in Samaria (West Bank), entered a house and were about to slaughter the family living there. Luckily, they were stopped by IDF reserve officer Roi Harel. Here’s how he described the incident:

“I was stepping out of the house, going to reserve duty, at around 5:00am. I opened the door, and saw two terrorists with hatred and anger in their eyes. They attacked me with clubs and axes, and entered my home. After a couple of seconds I came to, and I ran after them as they had almost reached my children’s bedrooms. I managed to push them outside the house and I locked my door.”

“If anyone has any doubts as to their intentions, two 17-year-olds came to slaughter me, my wife and my kids. In the seconds during which I fought with them, I thought to myself that what happened to the Fogel and Gavish families. I screamed to my wife to call the settlement’s guard, the children woke up and cried but my wife was with them in the bedroom, so they hardly saw anything.” 

After fleeing the home the terrorists tried to find other targets but were spotted by IDF soldiers and killed. Harel was lightly wounded with cuts to the head. His wife and five children, who were all in the house, were unharmed.

To watch a video of an interview with the wife of Roi Harel, click here.

Expelling Families
PM Netanyahu today sent a letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit requesting his legal opinion regarding the possibility of expelling the families of terrorists to Gaza. The PM claims that the threat of expulsion will motivate families to prevent their children and family members from committing terror attacks. Mandelblit has previously said that he believes explosion of families from East Jerusalem and the West Bank is considered illegal under international law. But the PM is not giving up so easily.

For further reading click here.

Waze Blameless
As a result of an investigation into the incident we reported on yesterday where two IDF soldiers mistakenly entered into the Qalandiya refugee camp and had to be rescued by large IDF forces, the IDF has decided to take disciplinary action against several of the soldiers’ commanders.

The soldiers were part of the Oketz unit, the army’s canine special forces unit. Based on the investigation the company commander will be reprimanded, the deputy company commander will be sentenced to a suspended prison sentence and the platoon commander of the soldiers will be dismissed from his position as well as receive a sentence of seven days in prison. They apparently should have taken better precautions to prevent this kind of mistake from happening.

The two soldiers themselves were not punished. In fact, they were praised for their conduct under the circumstances. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon yesterday urged all soldiers to navigate using a map, and not simply rely on Waze.

But don’t blame Waze for the mistake. The GPS app has a setting to avoid areas that are marked as dangerous or prohibited for Israelis to drive through. The soldiers didn’t set that option. They just chose the shortest route.

For further reading click here.

Illegal Relations
The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee is scheduled to discuss a bill that would outlaw sex between a religious or spiritual leader and one of his believers, comparing that situation to sexual relations between a therapist and a client, which is a criminal offense.

According to the proposal, sexual relations would be deemed a criminal offense if they take place as part of a relationship in which “ongoing advice or guidance is passed on through face-to-face meetings,” and if the sex acts are carried out “during or right after a period in which guidance or advice is given, exploiting palpable emotional dependence that results from the advice or guidance.”

The bill, which was initiated by MK Michal Rozin (Meretz), has received the support of MKs from Habayit Hayehudi, Kulanu, Yesh Atid, the Joint Arab List and Zionist Union, and has passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset.

For further reading click here.

Israeli Pride
Fighters for Life (Fighters For Life) is an NGO formed by three officers from the IDF’s elite Duvdevan unit that sends volunteer teams of IDF veterans to locations throughout the world that require humanitarian aid. The NGO currently operates three teams of Israeli veterans in memory of fallen soldiers.

Team Sean is sending 25 IDF veterans to volunteer for two weeks in the city of Gondar in Ethiopia in memory of Golani infantryman Nissim Sean Carmeli. Team Daniel heads to Mumbai, India every September in memory of Daniel Pomerantz, and Team Oz heads to Argentina to honor the memory of Oz Mendelovich. All three soldiers were killed during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

According to Yair Attias, the deputy director of Fighters For Life, “The aim is to make Israel into a world power in humanitarian aid throughout the third world. Israel has already become a powerhouse in high-tech, science and agriculture, there is no reason it can’t become a powerhouse in volunteerism and charity as well. This type of action is totally part of all of our Israeli-Jewish DNA.”

For further reading click here.