Israel News for June 28, 2016

Jews Banned
Yesterday we reported the Muslim extremist attacks against security forces on the Temple Mount, whose goal was to prevent Jews and other non-Muslims from visiting the Mount. Early today the police banned all non-Muslims from visiting the Temple Mount for the duration of Ramadan.

For the past few years the policy has been to prevent non-Muslims from visiting the Temple Mount during the final few days of Ramadan, but the policy was changed this year. Now it’s been changed back. A win for terror?

But the ban didn’t stop Arabs from attacking Jews praying at the Kotel. Early today a 73 year old woman praying at the Western Wall was hit by rocks thrown from the Temple Mount. She was lightly wounded.

Police arrested 11 masked terrorists they said were involved in the Temple Mount violence and the Kotel rock throwing.

To watch a video of the violence click here.

Turkish Challenge
PM Netanyahu signed the official reconciliation deal with Turkey, which grants over $20 million in reparations to the families of those killed in the Marmara raid and releases all IDF personnel from the threat of prosecution in Turkey or The Hague. But he didn’t bother to present it to his cabinet for approval first. Problem?

Defense Minister Avigdor Leiberman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked have all announced their opposition to the agreement. The two dealbreakers for them are the reparations and the fact that Turkey has not committed to facilitating the return of the bodies of IDF soldiers being held by Hamas.

Bennett said, “The state cannot pay compensation to terrorists who tried to harm the IDF. Reconciliation with Turkey is important for this time and is in the interest of the State of Israel, but compensation to the perpetrators of terrorism is a dangerous precedent that the State of Israel will regret in the future.” He also said, “If Turkey has control over Hamas, they had better do all within their ability to ensure that Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin’s bodies are returned to Israel.”

Although the Turks did sign a letter indicating their commitment to try and facilitate the return of the bodies, it was not included in the official agreement.

Other Likud ministers, as well as members of the opposition, have also criticized the reparation payments as being a sign of weakness and a victory for terrorists. Some cabinet ministers resent the PM’s signing of the agreement without presenting it to them first for approval.

According to a recent poll, 65% of Jewish Israelis oppose the agreement, with 72% stating that the agreement should have been contingent on the return of the soldiers’ bodies.

But despite the protests and critiques, it looks like the PM has enough cabinet votes to “rubber stamp” the agreement after all. The cabinet will vote tomorrow.

For further reading click here.

UN Visit
During an official visit to Gaza, Israel and PA, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon condemned Israel’s blockade of Gaza, calling it “collective punishment.” But Israel intends to continue the blockade and rejected demands by Turkey to include the lifting of the blockade in the reconciliation agreement. Turkish aid to Gaza will go through the Port of Ashdod.

PM Netanyahu asked Ki-Moon to use his position to gain the release of the bodies of the IDF soldiers being held by Hamas.

For further reading click here.

Terrorist Dad
On October 13, 2015 two terrorists boarded a Jerusalem bus with guns and axes and murdered three Israelis and wounded several others. The father of one of the terrorists (who was killed during the attack) was arrested yesterday for incitement and being affiliated with terror organizations. He had been giving talks and lectures at educational institutions, including elementary schools and Al-Quds University, in which he expressed support for his son’s terror attack and other terrorist activities.

For further reading click here.

Hannibal Revoked
IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot has issued an order revoking the Hannibal Protocol, which requires the use any force necessary to prevent the abduction of a soldier, even if it endangers the soldier’s life.

The protocol drew mass criticism when it was implemented during the 2014 Gaza after the abduction of Lt. Hadar Goldin. After Goldin was captured by Hamas during a battle in the town of Rafah, IDF commanders ordered a massive barrage of firepower to attempt to stop the abduction. Dozens of Palestinians, including some civilians, were killed as a result. Goldin was later declared dead, but Hamas still holds his remains.

For further reading click here.

Bad Eggs
Israeli authorities seized around 40,000 eggs stored in a warehouse in the Galilee village of Tamra. The eggs were smuggled into Israel from the Palestinian Authority and were suspected of being unfit for human consumption. The owner of the warehouse and his son were arrested. The eggs were destroyed. Was this a deliberate attempt at sabotaging Israeli breakfasts, or just some bad egg handling?

For further reading click here.