Israel News for October 13, 2016

Yom Kippur Riots
Israeli police clashed with violent rioters in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan yesterday, during Yom Kippur. During the riots, which lasted several hours, masked men threw rocks and molotov cocktails at police on patrol in the neighborhood. One terrorist was shot and killed. He had recently been released from prison, after serving a year and a half sentence. Silwan residents gathered at his home to praise him, and Hamas also praised him.

Police and Border Police also clashed with Palestinians in Isawiya and Jabel Mukaber yesterday. Police dispersed the rioters with no injuries on either side.

For further reading click here.

Amona Petition
As a result of threats from Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett to cause a coalition crisis, PM Netanyahu has agreed to order the State to appeal to the Supreme Court to postpone the evacuation of Amona for six months. The PM met today with Bennett, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (also from Bayit Yehudi) and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, where they agreed to petition the court.

The current court ruling orders the evacuation to be completed by December 25th. But a plan for where to house the Amona residents has still not been finalized. Settler leaders want the residents moved to nearby land, but Palestinian claims of ownership over that land has made that legally untenable. Israeli plans to build housing units in nearby Shiloh have been condemned by the US and also been rejected by Amona leaders.

The hope is that with more time, a solution to the crisis can be discovered.

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Temple Mount Resolution
The members of UNESCO, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, will vote today on a resolution which, in addition to condemning Israel on several matters related to Jerusalem, claims that the Temple Mount is only holy to Moslems and has no historical connection to Judaism.

Over the past few weeks Israeli ambassadors and diplomats have lobbied countries to vote against the resolution, or at least to abstain. A senior Foreign Ministry official said that although the resolution is expected to pass, Israel’s diplomatic efforts had achieved some results. For example, France is expected to keep its promise and abstain from voting. Spain, Sweden and Argentina are also expected to abstain and Israel hopes Slovenia will join them. The official said that even several Arab states are unhappy with the Palestinian sponsored UNESCO resolution, but as a result of public pressure they are forced to support the Palestinians.

The US has suspended it membership, and membership fees, to UNESCO.

To read the UNESCO resolution draft, click here.

New Ferry Launches
After ten years of bureaucratic battles, a new ferry between Haifa and Acre has finally been launched. The ferry will transport tourists between the coastal cities for just 55 shekels round trip (30 one way).

For further reading click here.

Gaza Crowding
On Tuesday the two millionth resident of Gaza was born. The baby boy’s father, Jihad Shaath, proclaimed, “I hope that just like we broke the barrier of two million in the Gaza Strip, we’ll also break the Israeli blockade on it. I hope that my son will become one of the soldiers of the al-Aqsa (Martyrs’ Brigade) who will bring about the liberation of the al-Aqsa Mosque.” [With the first name “Jihad”, what do you expect?]

There are 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, which is 16 times larger than Gaza.

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Rare Photos
A collection of rare photos taken by Israeli photographer Dan Hadani has been made available to the public by the National Library of Israel. The collection features photos taken of Israeli leaders in the 1960’s in candid situations.

To see some of the photos click here.