Israel News for June 29, 2016

Cabinet Meeting
The Security Cabinet has approved the reconciliation agreement signed by the PM with Turkey yesterday. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked opposed the agreement, while six other ministers voted to approve it despite concern about the political repercussions of doing so, given that polls have shown that the majority of Israelis oppose the agreement.

Opponents of the agreement believe that Israel should not pay the $20 million of reparations to the families of those killed in the IDF raid on the Marmara, because they view that as rewarding terrorism. They also want the return of the bodies of Israeli soldiers being held by Hamas in Gaza to be included in the agreement.

Let’s hope that the new agreement with Turkey brings Israel many economic, security and diplomatic benefits, and that the Turks fulfill their promise (not included in the agreement) to help bring the remains of the Israeli soldiers being held by Hamas back to their families.

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UN Chief
The families of the IDF soldiers whose remains are being held by Hamas in Gaza met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon yesterday to ask him to intervene on their behalf. The meeting took place in the PM’s office in the presence of Netanyahu and Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon.

The families told the UN Chief, “You initiated the ceasefire that was exploited by Hamas to kidnap Hadar Goldin. Now we seek your involvement. Just as Gaza deserves humanitarian assistance, we also deserve humanitarian assistance.”

Ban Ki-Moon sympathized with the families, calling the situation “unjustified” and promised to appoint an official representative to handle the matter and promised that he would immediately look into how assistance could be provided upon his return to New York.

The families, however, expressed disappointment with the results of the meeting saying, “We entered the meeting with hope and left it disappointed. The UN secretary-general said that the matter was a humanitarian one. We therefore ask that the (Turkey) agreement not be signed.” They pledge to lobby ministers to vote against the agreement, which does not include a commitment by Turkey to facilitate the return of the bodies.

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Differential Policy
After touring the IDF Central Command, which is responsible for Judea and Samaria, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman recommended that the IDF implement a “differential” security policy that would increase pressure in Palestinian areas that serve as a source for violence and terror activities, while easing restrictions in areas that are peaceful. He said, “This way, everyone will know that there are consequences for both directions.”

Many of the Palestinian terrorists who have carried out attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers in recent months have come from specific areas of east Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Hebron region, and the village of Yatta in particular, have become hot spots for violence and the source of attackers traveling to other areas to perpetrate attacks.

The new policy would crack down on those areas without punishing Palestinians in other areas who are keeping the peace.

Sounds logical.

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