Israel News for October 26, 2016

Soldier Wounded
IDF soldiers from the Golan brigade working on defenses on the Lebanese border near Metula were fired upon from a vehicle passing on the Lebanese side. One soldier was hit by shrapnel and lightly wounded. The soldiers returned fire.

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Wedding Incitement
Back in December of 2015, a video of a wedding celebration was released which showed Jewish guests dancing with rifles, knives and fake molotov cocktails and singing songs calling for violence against Palestinians. Guests were also shown stabbing, tearing and setting fire to photos of Ali Dawabsheh, an 18-month-old baby who was murdered in an arson attack on their home in the village of Duma, and of his two parents, who were also murdered in the attack. The photos had the word “Revenge” written on them.  

The video triggered an investigation by police and arrests. Today, thirteen wedding guests, including the groom, were indicted for incitement and possession of firearms. The suspects also include the wedding singer and five minors between the ages of 14 and 17.

The indictment stated, “with their actions, defendants jointly called for an act of violence or terrorism; praise, sympathy or encouragement of an act of violence or terrorism; and support or identification with such an act. Based on the contents of the inciting actions and the circumstances in which they occurred, there is a real possibility that it will lead an act of violence and terrorism.”

An attorney for one of the defendants said, “This is a populist move by the State Attorney’s Office. I propose that before the State Attorney’s Office files an indictment concerning this wedding, they file incitements against guests at weddings in Umm al-Fahm, who actually fire their weapons and not just dance with them.”

For further reading and to see the video, click here.


Light Terror Sentence
Last year, on the night of Shavuot, an Arab terrorist stabbed and wounded two Breslover Hassidic yeshiva students in the Old City of Jerusalem, who were on their way to the kotel. Now a judge has sentenced the terrorist, a Christina Arab, to just nine years in prison. The prosecution was seeking 20 years.

The judge claimed that he could not label the attack as attempted murder or terror, because he felt that the attacker was under the influence of alcohol and drugs and not nationalistically motivated. This is despite the many nationalistic posts on the attacker’s Facebook page. The families of the victims angrily protested the verdict. The attacker will probably be released from prison after serving half of his sentence.

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Another UNESCO Vote
Two weeks ago UNESCO passed a resolution denying any Jewish connection to the Western Wall or Temple Mount. Today UNESCO passed another resolution on the matter, but this one is a bit less harsh.

For example, the resolution refers to the Western Wall by its Jewish name, which is not in quotation marks, as it has been in previous motions. Additionally, references to the site by its Muslim name, al-Buraq plaza, have been removed. So, too, has the term “occupying” force in regards to Israel, after years of Palestinian refusal to drop the term in UNESCO resolutions on Jerusalem. The resolution however still only refers to the Temple Mount only by its Muslim name, Haram al-Sharif or Al-Aqsa Mosque.

For further reading click here.

More Cars
The bad traffic on Israeli highways is on track to get worse. Over 300,000 new cars will be purchased by Israelis this year, which is over 50,000 more than last year and over 100,000 more than in 2012. The reason for the increased car spending is thought to be record low interest rates and the easy availability of 100% financing. That means borrowers can pay just a few hundred shekels a month for their new car. The banks don’t seem worried about the risk, pointing to a default rate of just .25% compared to 1.24% to 1.5% for general purpose consumer loans.

For further reading click here.