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Israel Update 28.3.19

GAZA ROCKET DESTROYED HOME IN CENTRAL ISRAEL

SEVEN ISRAELI CIVILIANS INJURED, INCLUDING CHILDREN.

Luck and miracles saved seven members of the British-Israeli Wolf family from almost certain death, when a rocket from Gaza landed in their home at around 5:20 a.m. on Monday…On a normal morning, Daniel would have been asleep in bed. But he had fallen asleep on the sofa as he scanned his phone and was still there when the warning siren sounded. Something about the acoustics of that room allowed him to hear the siren, when no one else in the house did. He immediately raced to wake up the other family members, and holding both small daughters in his arms, they ran to the small reinforced room designed to protect them from rocket attacks. They left the door of the safe room open for his mother, Susan, who never made it further than the kitchen and therefore suffered the most injuries.

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Susan is still in hospital being treated for shrapnel in the head. The only reason the baby survived was because she was shielded by her mother Yael, who was also hospitalized with shrapnel injuries.

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The large M-75 rocket was fired at dawn, when people were still sleeping, from a distance of over 100 km. A warhead containing dozens of kg. of explosives hit the centre of the living room.

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The family had five dogs, two of which died when the rocket hit.

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A neighbour described how her husband managed to pull their son to safety a moment before the blast blew out the windows of their home.

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SUBSEQUENT EVENTS

 

More than 60 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel on Monday and Tuesday, even though Hamas announced that a ceasefire had been achieved. One rocket hit a home in Sderot, but no casualties were reported. The IDF attacked dozens of terrorist targets in Gaza, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad military compounds, the offices of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, a building housing Hamas’ general and military intelligence headquarters, and internal security offices.

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Shlomo Moskowitz from Sderot, who saw his home damaged by a Gaza rocket just a few years ago, was alone at his house when a rocket – which failed to explode – smashed through the roof on Monday. The undetonated rocket lay on the floor of his son’s room.

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Rocket fire on Israel from Gaza was met with retaliatory airstrikes on Hamas military positions on Tuesday evening. Gazans fired rockets at Ashkelon, which were intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system.

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HAMAS

 

A senior Hamas official said Tuesday that the rocket which struck central Israel on Monday was ordered by Iran., claiming that Iran “went over the heads” of the Hamas leadership and ordered Islamic Jihad to carry out the attack.Senior officials in both Egypt and Gaza confirmed that Iran had ordered the attack and claimed that the Hamas leadership was aware of the plan to fire the rocket deep into Israeli territory.

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Hamas has built up a large arsenal of rockets in Gaza that can strike virtually anywhere in Israel.

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Several residents of Gaza accused Hamas in telephone interviews on Monday of deliberately provoking Israel to divert attention from the recent protests against economic hardship in Gaza. One said “Hamas leaders are holding our people hostage. Most people here don’t want another war,”

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Israel is preparing for large scale violence along the Gaza border on Friday, concerned that the one-year anniversary of the first March of Return will bring tens of thousands of rioters to the Gaza border threatening to breach the security fence and enter Israeli territory en masse to attack nearby Israeli communities.

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In Geneva last week, IDF reservists described Hamas human rights violations “In one of the missions …a 10-year-old boy in a suicide bomber’s belt was sent our way. In defiance of orders and the command to shoot to kill, the team member guarding the door at the time decided not to open fire, ducked behind some cover and instead instructed the boy to undress and remove the explosive belt.” “We detained the child and after an investigation in Israel he was released, healthy and well….The investigation revealed that his brother, a senior member of Hamas, bribed the kid with 10 shekels (about $2.50) to blow himself up on us.”

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ISRAEL AIDS MOZAMBIQUE

 

The Israeli humanitarian-aid organization IsraAID announced last Wednesday that it was sending a response team to Mozambique a week after the country was hit by Cyclone Idai.  The aid group is expected to provide relief supplies and medical care, restore access to potable water and offer psychological support to those affected.

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According to the Foreign Ministry, by last Friday, Israel had begun dispatching aid to people affected by the catastrophic flooding in Mozambique, with an emphasis on water-purification systems.

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CO-EXISTENCE

868 Arab teachers are teaching in Jewish schools in Israel in 2019, up from 465 in 2013.About half the Arab teachers in Jewish schools teach mathematics, English and science, while 1/4 teach Arabic.350 Jewish educators work in Arab schools – most of them teaching Hebrew.

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A HEARTWARMING STORY

Four years ago, Dr. Eitan was traveling with his son and made a wrong turn into a Palestinian village near Ramallah. An angry mob formed around the car, throwing stones and breaking the car windows. Two bystanders who lived in the village, Imad and his cousin Ayoub, rescued them. They ushered the Israelis into their home, called for a rescue team and protected them from the threatening crowd, saving their lives. More recently, when Imad’s sister-in-law was severely injured in a vehicle accident, Imad called Dr. Eitan, who oversaw her lifesaving treatment at Sheba Medical Centre.

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NOTE: “Newsweek” has ranked Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv as one of the world’s top ten hospitals.

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INCITEMENT

Palestinian President Abbas’ Fatah movement, on its official Facebook page, has glorified the terrorist, who murdered 2 Israelis last week, as a “heroic martyr” deserving of a “military salute.”

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AGRI-TECH

In the past decade, the Israeli agri-tech sector has produced a high number of innovative companies addressing global agricultural issues.
Drones, software, and robots are used more and more in the fields of Israel…Israeli scientists closely collaborate with farmers to invent cutting-edge products such as heat-tolerant tomatoes, drought-resistant cucumber seeds, and ultra-efficient drip irrigation.Israel already uses its innovative technology to sterilize the soil with solar energy instead of using robust harmful chemicals.

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TECHNOLOGY

 

McDonald’s Corporation will acquire Israel’s Dynamic Yield Ltd., a startup whose software enables the personalization of content to specific users. McDonald’s will use “this decision technology to provide an even more personalized customer experience” by enabling the maker of burgers and french fries to create drive-thru menus that change based on the time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items.

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SPORT

“Hatikvah” – the Israeli national anthem – was played in Doha, Qatar after Israeli gymnast Alexander Shatilov won the gold medal for the floor exercise during the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup series. The Arab Gulf nation has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

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MEDIA CRITIQUE

From Honest Reporting: Reuters headline: Israel and Hamas “trade blows.”

Reality: Terrorists in Gaza launched an unprovoked rocket attack on Israel, which destroyed a home and very nearly killed an entire family. Seven were injured, including two infants. Israel reacted by targeting terror infrastructure, and so Hamas then continued to attack civilians by bombarding Israeli cities and towns throughout the night.

What do you call that? Two sides simply trading blows, or one side targeting civilians while the other defends them?

 

COMMENT & OPINION

 

Shlomi Eldar:Israelis are no longer buying the explanation that rockets fired from Gaza are a “mistake” and realize the attacks are deliberate. While the political leadership of Hamas is seeking to advance a long-term cease-fire deal with Israel, Israel is now convinced that Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, no longer accepts the authority of the political leadership…and can sabotage any arrangement.

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Bret Stephens: Some media outlets are prepared to devote months of journalistic effort in order to trace the trajectory of a single bullet that accidentally kills a Palestinian – provided the bullet is Israeli. But when the shots are being fired by Hamas, the story barely rates in most Western news accounts…Palestinian lives and livelihoods should matter despite who harms them. A world that shrugs at Hamas’ abuse of its own people merely licenses the abuse to continue, unchecked.

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Dov Lipman (former M.K.): As we approach elections, I feel the need to warn readers to be wary of any party that blames Israeli leaders for not doing enough to resolve the conflict, and suggests that they will lead Israel to an agreement with the Palestinians based on the two-state model.
They may mean well, but it is clear to me this vision is not attainable because of the Palestinian leadership, and that trying to make it happen will only hurt Israel. And those who indicate that they will initiate unilateral withdrawals are simply playing into the hands of the patient Palestinians, who will continue their anti-Israel efforts regardless of disengagements or other actions which make us think we are solving this centuries-old conflict.
The time has come for new ideas and proposals regarding how to manage this complex conflict, while also taking steps to improve the quality of life for Palestinians living in Palestinian areas.

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U.S. RECOGNITION OF ISRAELI SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE GOLAN – COMMENT.

 

Seth J Frantzman: After 52 years of Israeli rule on the Golan – more than twice as long as the Syrian government controlled the heights (1946-1967) – Israeli rule is largely understood as a fact of life.

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Jonathan Schanzer and David Adesnik:Israel floated the possibility of withdrawal from the majority of the Golan Heights during peace talks with Syria in the 1990s and 2000s, but the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011 has changed Israel’s calculus. If Syria had regained control of this territory prior to the outbreak of the current conflict, Sunni extremists or Iranian proxies might now occupy the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Even with full control of the Golan, Israel continues to face serious threats from just across the border. The Golan is not contested by the Palestinians. The Arab population there consists of about 20,000 Druze.

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Jeff Jaccoby: In 1967, Israel was the target. It took the Golan in a defensive war against an enemy explicitly bent on its annihilation. Syria forfeited its sovereign right to the territory when it was defeated by its intended victim.To claim otherwise is to claim that a belligerent aggressor should lose nothing for waging an unlawful war. That would be folly.

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