New Stabbing in Jerusalem
A Palestinian female stabbed a 36 year old Israeli man in the back near the Lion’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem last night. After being stabbed, the man was able to draw his weapon and shoot the terrorist, seriously wounding her. Both were taken to Hadassah Hospital.
This story is still unfolding.
For further reading: http://news.walla.co.il/item/2895110
Abbas Finally Speaks Out
After weeks of Palestinian violence and terror attacks against Israeli targets, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas finally called for calm yesterday.
Speaking to senior officials of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Ramallah, Abbas said that he has told the Israelis that the Palestinians don’t want “military and security escalations.” He said the message had been delivered to Palestinian security forces and activists but added that, “at the same time, we will protect ourselves.”
Abbas also said he was ready to renew dialogue with Israel.
Meanwhile, in Qalandia, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, demonstrators hurled burning tires, rocks and a firebomb at Israeli forces, injuring one police officer. Security forces opened fire with rubber bullets and small .22-caliber rounds, shooting demonstrators in the legs. Clashes also erupted in the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallah, Jenin and Hebron.
An eighteen month old Israeli baby and her mother were injured when stones were thrown at their car near the settlement of Eli in Samaria.
Jerusalem was quiet.
The real question is, does Abbas really have the power to stop Palestinian attacks against Israeli targets? If the attackers are “lone wolves” acting independently, then it’s unlikely that anything he says will stop them. If they are motivated by religious fervor, he’s also not the man they’ll be looking to for direction.
However, he does control the Palestinian security forces which probably do have the power and the informants to crack down on likely terror sources and arrest them before they have a chance to act. Let’s see if this most recent statement of “calm” will have the desired effect (at least the effect that Israel desires).
For further reading: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_ISRAEL_PALESTINIANS
Henkin Murderers Arrested
Five members of a terror cell affiliated with Hamas in Nablus in the West Bank were arrested Monday during a joint operation conducted by the Shin Bet security agency, the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police.
According to the Shin Bet, each of the Palestinian men arrested had a defined role in the attack. One checked the route, three were in the vehicle used in the attack – a driver and two gunmen, and a cell commander, who was not in the vehicle. Several additional suspects have also been arrested on suspicion of aiding the cell.
During questioning, the cell members said that after they opened fire on the car carrying the Henkins, they left their vehicle, approached the car and fired on the couple at close range.
During the shooting, one of the cell members was accidentally shot by one of his colleagues and dropped his pistol, which was left at the scene and found by Israeli forces. After carrying out the shooting, the terrorists fled toward Nablus.
The cell members also admitted to being involved in two other shooting attacks in recent weeks, neither of which resulted in casualties.
PM Netanyahu issued a statement on Monday saying, “We are acting with a strong hand against terrorism and against inciters. We are operating on all fronts. We have brought an additional four IDF battalions into Judea and Samaria, and thousands of police into Jerusalem. The police are going deeply into the Arab neighborhoods, which has not been done in the past. We will demolish terrorists’ homes. We are allowing our forces to take strong action against those who throw rocks and firebombs. This is necessary in order to safeguard the security of Israeli citizens on the roads and everywhere.”
On a visit to the murder site, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced that the government will install a network of security cameras on the roads of Judea and Samaria which he believes will, “significantly change our ability to prevent these sort of attacks and to apprehend the perpetrators.”
On a related topic, Israeli forces destroyed the family homes in Jerusalem of the two terrorists that murdered four Jewish worshippers in a Har Nof Synagogue last year.
How amazing is it that Israeli security forces were able to arrest the Henkin’s murderers only two days after their attack? You can’t not be impressed. They’ve undoubtedly also prevented scores of attacks, but with every Israeli civilian a target, it’s simply impossible to prevent them all.
Israeli Arabs Riot
Israeli Arabs, citizens of Israel, took to the streets of Jaffa in an illegal demonstration organized by the northern branch of the Islamic Jihad movement in Israel against what they believe to be an Israeli attack on the Al Aqsa mosque.
The police allowed the demonstration to take place even though the organizers did not have the required permits, in a show of good faith towards the Arab community.
The demonstration quickly turned violent when protesters threw rocks and bottles at police officers, passing cars and buses, and at a local yeshiva. Six officers were injured. Windows on a bus full of passengers were shattered, but thankfully there were no casualties.
Police chiefs communicated with local Arab community leaders who got the demonstrators to disperse. Two protesters were arrested for assaulting police officers, and four others were arrested for vandalism.
Earlier on Tuesday, the chairman of the Joint Arab List party, MK Ayman Odeh, told Army Radio that he cannot tell the Palestinian nation how to fight the occupation. Odeh said that he opposes violent resistance, but added that he “won’t set red lines to the Arab people. They will decide how to fight the occupation. I will always blame the Israeli occupation.”
Israelis have already gotten used to violence in the West Bank and even in Jerusalem. But when Arab demonstrators turn violent in Jaffa, just a short walk from the center of Tel Aviv, that’s something that the average Israeli just can’t accept. The demonstration might turn out to be the straw that breaks the Israeli back and forces the government to make sure it never happens again.
For further reading: http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/729/348.html
Coalition tensions are rising during the recent wave of terror. At the security cabinet meeting yesterday, PM Netanyahu demanded that Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked stop publicly criticizing him.
Netanyahu rebuked the Bayit Yehudi Ministers saying, “What happened during Operation Defensive Shield will not happen again”. During the operation (Gaza War) Bayit Yehudi Ministers complained that the commanders in the field were not getting enough support from the government.
To Bennett’s chagrin, Netanyahu’s advisers have said that, at this time, the government will not allow construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank so as not to further ignite the security situation. Netanyahu told settler leaders in a meeting that he cannot change this decision because of intense international pressure. Settler leaders called the decision a “huge strategic mistake”.
For further reading: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4707659,00.html
Gaza Smart Fence
The Defense Ministry announced Tuesday that it completed construction on the “smart fence” surrounding twelve communities bordering Gaza. The smart fence, which uses advanced technology, is part of a 30 million shekel government project to reconstruct and strengthen the communities following Operation Defensive Shield last year. The smart fence is meant to prevent infiltration from Gaza and warn the security forces if the fence is touched.
This isn’t the only treat for residents neighboring the Gaza strip. This month a new radar system will be activated that promises to reduce the number of rockets that hit with no warning. It will also provide some of the residents a full seven to eight seconds warning to get to a protected area.
For further reading: http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=1151380
Red Shirt Protest
Thousands of school kids returned to school this morning after the Jewish holidays wearing red to identify with the terror victims and to protest the deteriorating security situation. The students, both religious and secular, came from different towns across the country. They organized the protest on Facebook. The organizer, Yair Buchnik, explained that he could not go back to school as if nothing happened. “The red shirts are to show that all the blood spilled pains us.”
For further reading: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4707813,00.html