Israel News for November 26, 2015

Deadly Accident
A female soldier was killed and around 40 other soldiers were injured when their bus overturned into a ditch near the settlement of Kochav Hashachar in Samaria today. Police said that the driver lost control of the vehicle. Helicopters and ambulances evacuated the seriously wounded from the scene.

Earlier this morning, Border Police officers shot and killed a Palestinian near Tapuah Junction in the West Bank after he got out of a taxi near a military post and began running toward officers while brandishing a knife.

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Close Call
The Palestinians seem to be adept at missing opportunities. They’ve passed up Israeli offers for their own state on several occasions. It looks like they messed up again.

Prior to the recent wave of terror, the IDF had recommended easing restrictions on the Palestinians in the areas of security, economy and construction.

Believe it or not, the military proposed approving requests made by the Palestinian Authority for armored vehicles, weapons (primarily light arms including Kalashnikov and M16 rifles) and ammunition. It also recommended releasing Palestinian security prisoners who have been jailed in Israel for decades.

But wait, there’s more. The IDF recommended measures to make it easier for Palestinians to obtain permits allowing them to work in Israel.

None of these recommendations are going to be implemented because of the ongoing violence. But what happens when the violence ends? Will the government implement the IDF’s recommendations? Scary.

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New Wall
Defense Minister Ya’alon announced yesterday that the defense establishment will be constructing an updated security fence between Hevron and Kiryat Gat. The sophisticated and hermetically sealed fence, similar to the one on the Sinai border, will be built within a year and will cost hundreds of millions of shekels, with financing coming from the recently approved defense budget.

This decision comes in the wake of a terror attack in Kiryat Gat on Saturday night in which the terrorist, a resident of the village of Yatir near Hevron, apparently snuck into the area through holes in the existing fence. Four people were wounded in that attack.

Is this an isolated initiative, or is it part of a much larger plan to build an impregnable security fence along the entire dividing line between the West Bank and pre-1967 Israel?

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IAF Strikes
A Saudi Arabian news site has reported that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck a Hezbollah base near Damascus on Monday night. The site cited an Israeli security source who said that Israel believes that Hezbollah is storing advanced Russian anti-tank missiles that are capable of piercing the defenses of the Merkava Mark IV, Israel’s most advanced tank.

Arab sources had also reported an Israeli airstrike near Damascus International Airport around two weeks ago. Earlier in the month it also reported that the IAF struck an advanced missile transfer including long-range Scud missiles as they made their way through Qalamoun en route to Hezbollah.

The message seems pretty clear: Israel will do whatever it takes to stop Hezbollah from getting advanced weapons from anyone. The IAF rules!!

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Iran Speaks
Not to be overshadowed by the events in Syria, ISIS, Paris and worldwide terror in general, Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, said on Wednesday that Iran would support the Palestinian uprising against Israel “in any way we can,” and rejected U.S. accusations that a recent wave of Palestinian knife and car-ramming attacks amounted to “terrorism.”

He added, “We will defend the movement of the Palestinian people with all of our existence, and in any way and as long as we can.”

Is anyone surprised? Thank God “radical Islam” doesn’t exist, or else we’d really be in trouble.

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Sexual Harassment
Knesset Member Yinon Magal, the head of the Bayit Yehudi Knesset faction, was removed from his post by party chairman Naftali Bennett after accusations of sexual harassment against him surfaced.

Yesterday, police began an inquiry into the testimonies of several women who claimed that they were sexually harassed by Magal when they worked at Walla News, where Magal served as Editor-in-Chief, and after he left to run for office.

Bayit Yehudi party members have said that if the investigation continues and things get worse, further steps will be considered. In the meantime, Magal will continue to hold his Knesset seat and remain a member of the Committee on the Status of Women. Makes perfect sense, right?

Hey, if Saudi Arabia can chair the UN committee on Civil Rights….

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Waste Transformer
Turning water into wine is neat. But an Israeli startup is doing something a bit more useful. HomeBiogas is marketing a product that takes your kitchen waste and turns it into gas for cooking. You can even throw in dog pooh (and then cook with it? Yum.)!

According to the company, each kilogram of food waste can generate about 200 liters of gas, enough for an hour’s cooking time on high flame. If fed the optimal amounts of “fuel,” the system can emit enough gas for three to four hours of cooking per day. That’s enough to make several meals for a family.

There are a few downsides. The unit is pretty big and emits a rotten egg smell, so you don’t want to keep it indoors. It also costs $890 plus tax, in Israel. The US suggested retail price is $1,500. But due to its use of bacteria to decompose the waste, the unit will only work in warm climates, like the Mediterranean and Africa.

I doubt Google will be buying this Israeli startup so quickly.

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