israel news stabbing

Israel News for November 30, 2015

More Terror
Early Sunday morning, a Palestinian man in his late 30’s attacked two Border Police officers near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. He shouted “Allahu Akbar” and stabbed one of the officers in the neck, wounding him. The officers shot and killed the terrorist.

A couple of hours later, a woman was walking on Shamgar Street in Jerusalem when a Palestinian terrorist came up behind her, stabbed her in the back and fled. The woman, who was a foreign worker from Nepal, was lightly wounded. The attacker, a 17 year old Palestinian from the West Bank, was apprehended by police.

Also on Sunday, a 16 year old Palestinian attempting to throw a molotov cocktail was shot by Border Police during violent clashes in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The police had come under a barrage of about 10 firebombs just before the shooting. According to police, the officers shot the firebomb thrower in the lower part of the body, but the Palestinian Health Ministry reported that the boy suffered a wound to the chest and was pronounced dead at a clinic he was transferred to.

In response, Palestinian organizations in Jerusalem, including the Fatah’s youth movement, have called for a “day of rage and mourning” on Monday.

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Jews Convicted
A Jerusalem court convicted two Jewish minors in the brutal murder of 16 year old Palestinian Muhammad Abu Khdeir in July 2014. The conviction of the third, and primary, defendant, 31 year old Yosef Haim Ben-David, was suspended due to a last-minute psychiatric evaluation that claimed he was not responsible for his actions at the time of the murder. The court claims that there is enough evidence to convict him. The defendants admitted that the murder was in revenge for the murder of the three Jewish teens who were kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Gush Etzion in the summer of 2014.

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Internet Wars
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely met with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Google’s Director of Public Policy, Jennifer Oztzistzki, at Google’s Silicon Valley Offices last week to find ways of cooperating to censor terror inciting videos.

Hotovely said, “The attacks daily in Israel are the result of youths and children incited by the education system and the social networks, this is a daily war of incitement.”

Foreign journalists who report from the West Bank are required to register with the Israeli military, and any footage that they film is required to go through the Israeli Military Censor’s office before it can be released. But with today’s technology, people can now post uncensored video directly online.

Hotovely said that Google agreed to strengthen relations with Israel’s Foreign Ministry and build a mechanism of “collaborative work” that would make both parties partners in monitoring the published materials and censoring them.

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PM Slams EU
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered Israel’s Foreign Ministry to suspend contact with European Union institutions over all issues related to the peace process with the Palestinians, in response to the EU’s decision to label products made in the West Bank and the Golan.

The senior Foreign Ministry official said that “it is inconceivable that Israel will hold dialogue with EU institutions on how to advance a peace process while the EU simultaneously initiates measures against Israel.” The official added, “Israel will examine each case individually with the guiding principle of making sure Israel’s interest vis-à-vis Europe and EU nations are not harmed.”

Although the suspension of contact sounds tough, it’s really the lightest response that the PM had to choose from, since it doesn’t preclude discussions with individual member states.

According to the senior official, “This decision is almost completely devoid of any real significance. It’s like the EU saying it is cutting communications with Israel but continuing to hold talks with each of its minister’s independently.”

In any case, the EU labeling is not expected to have any significant economic impact on Israel, so the PM’s reaction is probably very appropriate.

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Russia Next Door
With the Russian military increasing their presence in Syria and conducting significant numbers of airstrikes in the area, Israel has been working closely with the Russians to coordinate their respective military operations to avoid a situation similar to the one where Turkey shot down a Russian plane that it claimed violated its airspace.

On Sunday, Defense Minister Ya’alon told Israel radio that despite Israeli and Russian efforts to coordinate military operations in Syria, on one occasion a Russian plane penetrated Israel’s airspace by one mile. He said that Israel immediately made contact and the plane immediately returned to Syrian airspace.

Mistakes are bound to happen, which is why the joint coordination is so important. Israel also wants to make sure that its planes can continue attacking targets in Syria when necessary, without inadvertently crossing paths with the Russians.

A senior IAF officer said that, “Russia is not the enemy, and our policy does not include attacking or firing at any Russian.” He added that despite the mutual coordination, no “demilitarized” zones were defined from which Israel’s air force would be excluded. “We don’t need anyone’s permission and we make sure we get our job done” he said.

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Copt Out
The leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, made a rare visit to Israel to attend the funeral of a senior Coptic official in Jerusalem on Saturday.

Tawadros broke a ban against travel to Israel that was imposed by his predecessor, who opposed the normalization of ties between Egypt and Israel. In response to protests and accusations of betrayal from Egyptian Copts, Tawadros insisted that he was not making an official visit, but was just there for the funeral. He wouldn’t want anyone to think that he was actually interested in pursuing peace. What ever happened to “turn the other cheek”? Peace on earth?

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Modesty Patrol
It looks like the issue of of modest dressing isn’t just one for the religious community. A secular public high school in Kiryat Ono asked their 12th grade female students to lower their skirts to cover their knees or to stand behind a bench to hide their legs, for their yearbook photos. The school explained that their mode of dress was “immodest” and “disrespectful” of the school. The girls were furious, and many felt humiliated by the administration.

Days before the yearbook photo shoot, the girls were warned not to wear sleeveless shirts, low-cut blouses or “too short” dresses and skirts. Dress-code has been an issue throughout the country over the past year, specifically regarding a rule banning girls from wearing super short shorts, which isn’t enforced against boys (can anyone else see the difference here?).

The Education Ministry said the Kiryat Ono school “has a mandate to set norms for dress, in a spirit appropriate to the school’s charter, which is set in cooperation with the students, teachers and parents. The claims were passed on to the [ministry] inspector for the school.”

Knesset Member Ilan Gilon of Meretz who is a member of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women complained to Education Minister Naftali Bennett. He wrote,“The excessive attention given to the length of the students’ dresses is problematic. Since when has the [non-religious] state schools system started demanding a modesty regime from its students? What are the criteria for such dress and what is the educational message that the school’s staff is trying to pass on?”

Do you think secular schools should impose “modest dress” regulations on students? What should those regulations be based on?

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