Israel News for August 27, 2015

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More Terror in Jerusalem
A 56 year old Arab resident of Hebron arrived in Jerusalem’s Old City yesterday carrying an axe and a knife. His intent was to kill police officers. At around 7pm he confronted two border policemen and swung his axe at them but missed. When they chased him down and attempted to restrain him he stabbed one of them. The officer was lightly wounded. Hamas claimed credit for the attack.

The assailant was imprisoned in 1989 for murdering Israel Prize winner Menachem Stern. He was released in 2013 with hundreds of other prisoners in the Gilad Shalit deal.

Late last night, molotov cocktails were thrown at a border police jeep in the mixed Arab-Jewish Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor. No one in the jeep was injured. The Arabs continued throwing rocks at firemen who arrived to put out the fire and prevent it from spreading to nearby homes.

In an unrelated development, the IDF and police have decided to beef up security on highway 443, one of only two major highways that connect Jerusalem to the center of the country. This is in response to several terror attacks along the route including the stabbing of a motorist at a gas station and multiple Molotov Cocktail attacks.

Rockets from Gaza
A rocket fired from Gaza landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council near the Israel-Gaza border causing no injuries or damage. Last week the IDF moved Iron Dome batteries into the area, but there was no alert sounded. Two other rockets were fired a couple of days ago from different areas of Gaza, but both fell within Palestinian territory.

While Hamas is still actively supporting and promoting terrorism in Israel, it does not want to start a war with Israel by firing rockets. So it seems like there are other, even more extreme elements running around Gaza trying to start trouble by goading Israel into another war. Ironically, Hamas is working hard to prevent them from doing that.

Good Times in Ramallah
Times are good in the Palestinian Authority. Well, maybe just for President Mahmoud Abbas. He’s building a $13 million mansion on a hilltop in Ramallah, his capital city, according to an announcement by the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR).

The mansion, which will be over 15,000 square feet in size and include two helipads and a separate 13,000 square foot mansion for administrative personnel, is being financed by the PLO budget, which in turn is largely funded by US donations.

Over the past two decades it’s estimated that the US and Europe have donated over $25 billion dollars to the Palestinian Authority. It doesn’t look like that money has gone to help improve the conditions of the people living there. So where did all the money go? Hmm.

Bennet and Allergies
Dozens of parents of children with life threatening allergies protested outside an education conference in Holon where Education Minister Naftali Bennet was speaking, to protest government budget cuts which eliminate shadows for their children in school.

The parents say the shadows prevent their children from being exposed to foods which could put them at risk. They’re threatening not to send their children to school for the new academic year if they do not have shadows to protect them. They say that sending their kids to school would be putting their lives at risk.

Shabbat Fines Dropped
In yesterday’s issue we reported on the kosher restaurant in Tel Aviv that was being fined by the owners of the Sharona shopping center for closing on Shabbat in alleged violation of their lease agreement. Well, the center owners have decided to drop the fines (it had nothing to do with our reporting!) in a show of what they call “communal responsibility”.

But it doesn’t end there. The Sharona owners say that they will pursue their breach of contract case in the courts. The restaurant owners, a couple in their 40’s, say that even though they are personally not religiously observant, they firmly believe that keeping their shop closed on Shabbat is the right thing to do and under no circumstances will they work on Shabbat. They say they would rather close their business, which is what they might have to do if the Sharona owners press their case.

Bottom Line
The shop owners signed an agreement pledging to keep their store open 7 days a week. Even though their agreement with God is more important in the grand scheme of things, in a court of law, a contract is a contract.