Israel News for September 20, 2016

Terror Attacks
This morning a terrorist attempted to stab a soldier at the checkpoint at the entrance to the Arab town of Bani Na’im, east of Hebron. The soldier, a member of the 605th Engineering Battalion, managed to shoot the terrorist before he could cause any harm.

Last night a man was arrested in Hebron who was carrying a knife and planning to attack soldiers. Also last night, a bus traveling in East Jerusalem was stoned and the bus driver was lightly wounded.

All this follows two other terror attacks that we reported on yesterday. In one, two terrorists attempted to stab soldiers at The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and were shot and killed. In the other, two police officers were seriously wounded when they were stabbed by a terrorist near the Old City of Jerusalem.

IDF forces conducted raids in several Arab villages overnight in search of terror suspects and weapons. In total 27 suspects were arrested and numerous weapons confiscated.

For further reading click here.

Letter to Obama
Ahead of President Obama’s address to the UN General Assembly and his planned meeting with PM Netanyahu tomorrow, a group of 88 Republican and Democratic senators sent Obama a letter calling on him to veto any “one-sided” resolution brought before the UN Security Council during the remainder of his term.

The letter, initiated and sponsored by AIPAC, was spearheaded by Republican Senator Michael Rounds from South Dakota and Democratic Senator Kristen Gillibrand from New York.

The letter said, “We urge you to continue longstanding U.S. policy and make it clear that you will veto any one-sided UNSC resolution that may be offered in the coming months. Any such resolution, whether focused on settlements or other final status issues, will ultimately make it more difficult for Israelis and Palestinians to resolve the conflict.”

Israeli officials are worried that Obama might attempt to push through a UN Security Council resolution related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the November presidential election.

In the letter the senators supported a two-state solution and stressed that a resolution could only be reached through direct dialogue between the sides.

They wrote, “At this delicate stage the international community should both provide hope to the parties and avoid taking action that would harm the prospects for a meaningful progress. Even well-intentioned initiatives at the United Nations risk locking the parties into positions that will make it more difficult to return to the negotiation table and make the compromises necessary for peace.”

For further reading click here.

Shabbat Laws
The Jerusalem municipality indicted eight grocery shop owners for keeping their shops open on Shabbat, in violation of the city law that prohibits stores in the city center from operating on Shabbat.

Lawyers for the store owners accused Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat of caving in to ultra-orthodox pressure.

Barkat’s office responded that its decision did not stem from political pressure, but from the legal problem posed by a High Court of Justice ruling in a case involving Tel Aviv groceries that opened on Shabbat in violation of municipal bylaws. In that case, the court ruled that Tel Aviv could either enforce its bylaws or amend them, but could not simply keep allowing businesses to open in violation of the law.

For further reading click here.

Sirens Blaring
The IDF Homefront Command will test it’s early warning siren system throughout the country today. During the sirens, citizens are instructed to retreat to shelters in their homes, workplaces and schools. Sirens will be sounded in different regions between 11:05am and 11:15am, and then at 7:05pm for the entire country.

For further reading click here.