Israel News for November 3, 2015

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More Terror
In Netanya on Monday evening, a 22 year old Palestinian stabbed a 70 year old Israeli man, seriously wounding him. Police shot the attacker and arrested him.

Earlier on Monday, a 19 year old Palestinian from Hebron stabbed an 80 year old woman and two men aged 35 and 26 in Rishon Letzion. Police arrested the terrorist.

In both terror attacks the police had to protect the arrested terrorists from angry mobs.

In a recent interview with Yediot Ahronot, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid insisted that the only solution to the terror is for Israel to completely separate from the Palestinians. He didn’t explain the logistics of such a separation, but he was clear that it cannot be a unilateral separation but rather one that is agreed upon by both sides. He also said that Saudi Arabia would be open to helping this occur. In Lapid’s vision, the IDF would be permitted to enter the Palestinian zone whenever necessary.

Has Lapid forgotten that the Palestinians want their own state, complete with sovereign borders and a military to defend them, with Jerusalem as its capital? Lapid is offering them basically what they already have, surrounded by a hermetically sealed wall to keep them out of Israel. Does he seriously think that they’ll accept that, or that Saudi Arabia will help convince them to? Seems like some very wishful thinking.

Watch the interview here.

Returning Bodies of Terrorists
Despite the cabinet’s decision not to return the bodies of terrorists to their families, the IDF has decided to return the bodies. Palestinian clan leaders and activists have been carrying out a campaign consisting of private discussions with Israeli military officials as well as organized protests to convince the Israelis that not returning the bodies will cause more unrest and violence. The campaign seems to have worked.

Five bodies were recently returned to families in the Hebron area. The bodies were given elaborate funerals and official Palestinian Authority ceremonies and honors. As a result, Israel is now demanding that all funerals of returned terrorists take place at night, so as to minimize the attendance and fanfare.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Sunday morning that returning the bodies will continue if there’s a guarantee that the funerals will be kept low key. Otherwise, he’ll have the bodies buried in Israel.

For further reading click here.

Jail Time
The Knesset yesterday approved a law to impose a minimum prison sentence of 2 – 4 years on rock-throwers if there is evidence proving intent to harm. The law was approved by a vote of 51-17.

The law also approved fines and law suits against families of minors convicted of throwing rocks for nationalistic reasons or as an act of terrorism. In addition, National Insurance benefits (including child support) will be revoked from parents of such a minor.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, the architect of the law, said Israel needed to find creative solutions to stop the recent wave of terror, adding the law will “force parents to take responsibility and pay the price for their children’s actions”.

If being killed or going to prison is not enough of a deterrent for these kids, maybe hitting their parents where it really hurts will be.

For further reading click here.

Police Ban Visits
Several weeks ago PM Netanyahu banned members of knesset from visiting the Temple Mount. But it seems that the police didn’t get the message, or maybe just ignored it. That’s changed.

On Monday, acting Police Chief Commander Bentzi Sau placed a temporary ban on all MKs from visiting the Temple Mount. This comes in the wake of the unauthorized visit of Joint List MK Basel Ghattas to the Mount last week, which several ministers and public officials claimed was a direct incitement to violence.

For further reading click here.

No more fireworks
Economy Minister Aryeh Deri signed an order yesterday banning the import of garden fireworks to Israel at the request of Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan. The fireworks are frequently used in attacks on Israeli security forces during violent demonstrations on the Temple Mount and in Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem. They have also been used in attacks on Jewish homes in these neighborhoods. The police say these fireworks can be lethal and the harm they can cause far outweighs any economic damage to the importers.

Fireworks are commonly used at Muslim wedding celebrations. We’ll take dull Muslim wedding over terrorism any day.

For further reading click here.

Netanya Expands
If you’re thinking of moving to Netanya, or if you happen to own land there, you might be in luck.
Construction is beginning on a new neighborhood in the western part of the city that will include 3,000 housing unit, over 2 million sq.ft. of commercial space, public buildings and a park.
Owners of plots of land included in the building plan made a nice return on their investment. Lucky them.

For further reading click here.

Stray Cat Strut
In these times of ongoing terror and heightened stress, it’s comforting to know that Israel’s cabinet is totally focused on dealing with the crisis. Well, maybe not all cabinet members.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel is focusing his attention on solving what he believes to be a major issue for Israel: stray cats. If you’ve been to Israel you know that there are stray cats just about everywhere. The Environmental Protection Ministry spends over one million dollars annually on neutering and spaying stray cats, in an attempt to control their numbers.

Ariel, who is a member of the religious Bayit Yehudi party, believes that neutering or spaying animals is against Jewish law. He therefore suggested that Israel’s cat population be transferred to a foreign country. His idea didn’t go over very well with just about everyone, from politicians to animal rights groups.
Ariel subsequently retracted his proposal, but still wants to end the government’s neutering program and instead use the money for research into the stray problem.

Is he serious?

For further reading click here.

Israel Film Festival
The Other Israel Film Festival, taking place from November 25 – 12, presents dramatic and documentary films, as well as engaging panels about history, culture, and identity on the topic of minority populations in Israel with a focus on Arab citizens of Israel,, who make up twenty percent of Israel’s population. The festival will present the films Colliding Dreams, Censored Voices, Dégradé, Jeruzalem, Mussa, Oriented, Partner With The Enemy and more.

For more info click here.