Israel News for August 18, 2015

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Hunger Striker
Israel’s High Court postponed ruling on the case of the Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Allan and has instructed the government and Allaan’s family to come up with a compromise agreement. The government yesterday offered to free Allaan on the condition that he leave the country for four years .

Arab-Israeli Knesset member Mohammed Jabareen of the Joint Arab List party, who is representing Allaan, rejected the offer, claiming that it proves that Allaan isn’t really that dangerous. Instead, the family has offered for Allaan to end his hunger strike on the condition that the state not extend his detention, which is scheduled to expire in November.

Allaan was arrested in November and is being held under the administrative detention law (without formal charges or trial) on suspicion of being involved with Islamic Jihad. He has been on a hunger strike for 62 days now in protest. Last month the Knesset passed a law allowing a judge to sanction force-feeding or medical treatment if an inmate’s life is threatened, even if the prisoner refuses. But doctors, backed by the Israel Medical Association, have refused to use force-feeding and consider it to be inhumane.

Allaan is currently in Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon where he is receiving intravenous fluids and vitamins, which is not considered force-feeding. But doctors say some of his organs are damaged as a result of the hunger strike and his condition is precarious.

In the past Israel has freed Palestinian prisoners on hunger strikes for fear that their deaths could stir up Palestinian outbreaks of violence. At the same time the government doesn’t want to set a precedent which would encourage prisoners to go on hunger strikes to attempt getting released. The government also feels that Allaan will be a security threat if released.

According to Israeli law the government has every right to continue detaining Allaan since it believes that he is a security threat. It also has the right to force-feed him in order to save his life. Instead the government has offered to set him free as long as he leaves the country for four years. That would seem to be a good deal for Allaan considering his current situation. Unfortunately for him, due to his condition he is unable to make any decisions for himself, leaving the Israeli-Arab and Palestinian politicians and activists representing him to decide his fate. And they’ve decided, at least for now, that their fight against Israel takes precedence over saving Allaan’s life.

PA Money funds terror
Indictments filed by the Military Advocate General of Judea and Samaria against the terrorists responsible for the murder of Malachi Rosenfeld a month ago in the West Bank reveal that PA money was indirectly used to fund the terror cells.

Ahmad Najar, the head of the terror cell that murdered Rosenfeld, was imprisoned in Israeli jail for the murder of six Israelis in 2004. After his release as part of the Shalit deal, he received a monthly stipend from the Palestinian Authority for his time served in Israeli prison.

Najar then moved to Jordan and had his brother Amjad withdraw the money from his bank account in the West Bank. He used the money to train and arm a terror cell under his command.

On June 29, the terror cell’s members shot Rosenfeld to death and wounded his three friends near the settlement Shvut Rachel. Prior to the fatal attack, they fired at a Magen David Adom ambulance near Beit El, in an incident that ended without injuries. The Palestinian Authority arrested two members of the terror cell. Israel arrested the rest.

In a separate indictment Muhammed Abu Shaheen from Qalandiya was indicted for shooting Danny Gonen to death near the settlement Dolev and wounding his friend Netanel Hadad. The charges against his terrorist cell members also include several cases of shooting at soldiers in Qalandiya and planning to kidnap an Israeli.

Hamas deal. Not.
Despite reports in the Arab press and statements from Turkish officials and PA President Abbas that Israel was close to reaching a long term cease first agreement with Hamas, the PM’s office released a statement yesterday flatly denying any negotiations with Hamas. According to the statement, “There are no meetings with Hamas. There are no direct contacts, no contacts through other countries and no contacts through intermediaries.”

Passport Control Crumbles
Waiting in line for immigration officers to check your passport at Ben Gurion airport is never a pleasant experience. Last Friday, it got a whole lot worse. The passport control computer system went down, requiring agents to check incoming passengers’ passports manually. With Shabbat approaching, and a huge backlog of anxious and impatient passengers still waiting, authorities decided to just let about 1,300 Israeli citizens through without any record of their entry into the country. The catch is that they would need to call the Interior Ministry (Misrad Hapnim) to register their re-entry into the country.

When people called they were told that they need to show up at a ministry office to personally confirm that they’re back in Israel. If they don’t they’re considered as if they aren’t in Israel and therefore will not be covered by their national insurance. At least they made it home for Shabbat.

No Soccer on Shabbat
Economy Minister Aryeh Deri, who is also head of the Ultra Orthodox Sephardic Shas party, sent a letter to the Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev and to the head of the Soccer Association requesting that they not schedule National League (Liga Leumit) games on Shabbat.

There are two professional soccer leagues in Israel: the top tier Premier League and the second tier National League. While the Premier League has always schedule some games on Shabbat, the National League has not, until now. The league has decided to schedule games on Shabbat in the upcoming season. At least ten players have protested this decision and said they will refuse to play on Shabbat.

Pants attack
A 15 yr old girl was walking with her family in Jerusalem on Rechov Strauss, a main street running through the center of town, not far from an Ultra Orthodox (Charedi) neighborhood. She was wearing pants. A 40 yr. old Charedi man considered the pants to be immodest. He expressed his opinion by spitting on her. The man was arrested. The girl most likely wiped the spit off and then continued wearing her pants.