Israel News for October 28, 2016

Terrorist Arrested
The Shin Bet announced yesterday that they arrested a terrorist who was planning to carry out a shooting attack against security forces and civilians in Jerusalem. He was also involved in a number of rock and molotov cocktail throwing incidents as well as aiming fireworks at security forces. His Facebook page was full of posts praising terror, supporting Hamas and inciting violence.

The arrest was made three weeks ago. The suspect, Muhammad Mussa Muhammad Abassi, was a resident of the Ras al-Amud neighborhood of East Jerusalem, which gave him the ability to move freely throughout Jerusalem.

Peres Unveiling
The tombstone for Shimon Peres was unveiled today. PM Netanyahu, President Rivlin and family and friends were present for the ceremony. The stone contains several inscriptions.

One from David Ben Gurion says, “the spiritual character and Israel’s inner strength will be a main factor in the future of our security and our international position.”

Another, from Isaiah says, “and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Another, an excerpt from a poem by Hayim Nahman Bialik says, ‘For one more song he had…And see now, the song has perished, His song is lost, gone for good.”

Peres is described on the gravestone as “one of the founding fathers of the state which he served his entire life.” His most distinguished political positions are also listed, including president of Israel, prime minister, defense minister, foreign minister and finance minister. Also listed are some of his most significant contributions to Israel’s security including the establishment of the Dimona nuclear reactor.

Finally, his family chose to describe Peres as, “a statesman, a lover of books, poetry and art, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, a visionary and a pragmatist.”

For further reading click here.

Altalena Monument
A new monument was unveiled today at the Nahalat Yitzhak cemetery in Tel Aviv to commemorate the 16 Irgun members who were killed when their ship, the Altalena, was shelled by the fledging IDF in June of 1948. The incident is shrouded in controversy and confusion, and nearly lead to a civil war in Israel.

PM Netanyahu said, “Great pride is accompanied by great pain that lasts until today. Five weeks after the founding of the state Jews shot Jews. All that happened due to an exaggerated sense of strength, hasty decision making and firing unnecessarily. Bitter pride led to bloodshed that left deep scars that hurt the soul of the nation. Menachem Begin will be remembered as someone who prevented major disaster with his restraint and his spirit. He made us unify even in the most difficult of moments.”

To read more about the Altalena incident click here.

To read more about the unveiling ceremony for the new monument, click here.

Stormy Weather
Israel experienced its first major rainstorms last night and today, which resulted in flash flooding and sandstorms in the south. Eilat was hit particularly hard with massive torrential rains equaling its average annual estimated rainfall amount. Streets and hotels were flooded and the airport was temporarily shut down.

The bad weather forced the plane carrying the President of Fiji and 20 members of his entourage to make an emergency landing in Eilat. The President was on his way to inspect his troops, which are part of the Multi-national Force and Observers mission (MFO) stationed in Sharm el-Sheikh in Sinai. He was met by the airport director and taken to a hotel.

For further reading click here.