Israel News for June 27, 2016

Riots on Temple Mount
Dozens of masked Muslim extremists threw rocks and other objects at Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount, as Jewish visiting hours began early this morning. Police, Border Police and Yasam riot police forces succeeded in driving the rioters into the mosque, enabling both Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors to continue at the site for a short period.

After the visits ended the security forces were attacked again, before quelling the violence. According to surveillance video, the rioters stockpiled rocks and set up barricades throughout the night in preparation for today’s attacks. They had also attacked police on Sunday.

Despite the violence, police continued to enable non-Muslims to visit the compound, which included only 18 Jews among 375 tourists in total.

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Israel & Turkey
Israel and Turkey announced a reconciliation agreement in Rome today. PM Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was also there for the event, prior to the announcement.

The diplomatic crisis with Turkey began after Israeli forces raided a Turkish ship (the Marmara) that was part of a flotilla of vessels attempting to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza, on May 31, 2010. Nine Turkish citizens were killed in the raid.

As part of the reconciliation agreement, Israel will pay the families of the none victims over $20 million as reparation. The money will be transferred only after a law is passed in Turkish parliament, which terminates all ongoing legal proceedings in Turkish courts against Israeli officers involved in the Marmara incident.

In addition, one of the main parts of the reconciliation agreement is that the IDF soldiers and commanders who took part in the operation to capture the ship will not be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Also in the agreement is a clause which commits Turkey to preventing Hamas attacks on Israel and Israeli citizens from or on Turkish soil.

The Israeli blockade of Gaza will continue. Turkish humanitarian aid to Gaza will be allowed to be delivered via Israel.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog was critical of the reconciliation agreement, saying, “The return of relations with Turkey is an important political goal, but the reparations to those who attacked IDF soldiers is unacceptable, especially when it is signed by the Netanyahu – Bennet – Lieberman threesome. All should know that the leadership of the right is paying reparations to those who have attacked our sons.”

Besides slamming the reparation payments, Herzog decried the fact that insisting that Turkey facilitate the return of Israeli’s missing in Gaza (dead and alive) was not part of the agreement. He said, “besides this incomprehensible compensation, my heart is torn to see the indifference and the ignoring of the families of those who are missing (in Gaza), who are yelling at the top of their lungs. Yet their cries are not getting through to the hearts of the people who sit in the cabinet.”

However, a senior official involved in the agreement said, “We requested and received an official letter in which Turkish President Erdogan instructed Turkish intelligence and all the relevant government agencies to take all measures necessary to bring the issue of the prisoners and MIAs in Gaza to a close on humanitarian grounds.”

MK Hanin Zoabi of the Joint Arab List, who was on the Marmara, claimed that, “Israel agreeing to transfer $21 million to Turkey constitutes a clear admission of guilt.” She also critiqued the fact that lifting the blockade of Gaza was not included in the agreement.
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Abbas Backtracks
On Thursday PA President Abbas, during a speech before the EU Parliament, accused Israeli rabbis of poisoning Palestinian wells in the West Bank. On Friday his office issued this statement: “After it has become evident that the alleged statements by a rabbi on poisoning Palestinian wells, which were reported by various media outlets, are baseless, President Mahmoud Abbas has affirmed that he didn’t intend to do harm to Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world.” The statement also said that Abbas “rejected all claims that accuse him and the Palestinian people of offending the Jewish religion,” and that Abbas also “condemned all accusations of anti-Semitism.”

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Believe it
Ezra Sheinberg, the former head of a community and Yeshiva in Tsfat who was recently found guilty of sexual offenses against 14 women, has petitioned the court demanding 285,000 shekels in severance pay from the Yeshiva and community he headed. The court is examining his request. Believe it.

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