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Israel Update 4.7.19



Suheib Yousef, the son of Hamas co-founder Sheikh Yousef, has left the terror organisation. He described how he worked for Hamas in Turkey…saying the Hamas setup there was also used to conscript people, including children, in the West Bank to carry out terror attacks against Israelis. “The point of the attacks in the West Bank is to kill civilians, not for the aim of resistance.”He continued, “Hamas leaders [in Turkey] live in fancy hotels and luxury towers, their kids learn at private schools and they are very well paid…They have guards, swimming pools, country clubs…they eat in the best restaurants…Read more here


Gazan arson terrorism continues daily, despite an “unofficial truce” last Friday in which Hamas reportedly agreed to stop the incendiary attacks.

Dozens of fires have been documented in Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip in recent weeks.  25 fires started in these communities last Thursday 27/6, and an incendiary balloon even landed on the doorstep of a house. Residents of the area are frustrated, both with the endless firebombs and the lack of a response from Israel. The first fire of the day began at around noon, and three hours later, an incendiary balloon led triggered a blaze next to a sports hall, while children were present. Read more here


Israeli soldiers arrested four Gazans found carrying a total of 6 knives near the border fence between the Gaza and Israel last weekend. The arrests came after incendiary balloons from Gaza sparked 14 fires Friday in southern Israel, hours after Israel granted a number of economic concessions to the Strip in exchange for an end to arson attacks and other violence along the border.

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An arson balloon from Gaza ignited a fire Saturday near a kibbutz, marking another breach in an unofficial truce renewed on Friday between Israel and Hamas. Read more here


Gazan terrorists fired rockets into the Mediterranean Sea early Wednesday morning, triggering rocket alert sirens in several Israeli border communities. Read more here




The bombing of Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria on Sunday targeted the logistical chain that supplies advanced weapons to Hizbullah. The S-300 surface-to-air missile system provided to the Syrian Army by Russia didn’t operate. Instead, the Syrians fired a massive barrage of older S-200 missiles, one of which fell in Turkish Cyprus by mistake. Read more here


An explosion that rocked northern Cyprus and caused a large fire early Monday was apparently caused by a Russian-made stray Syrian surface-to-air missile. Read more here




The Israel Security Agency has foiled a series of attempts by Hamas to establish terror cells in the West Bank in order to carry out simultaneous deadly attacks in Israel. The agency said Wednesday it had arrested an explosives expert who had trained for a year to set up a laboratory in the West Bank to manufacture explosive devices. He had entered Israel with a humanitarian permit for medical treatment, and was arrested in May.  Read more here




Thousands of Israelis of Ethiopian descent and their supporters staged sit-down protests at major road junctions throughout the country on Tuesday (and subsequently), causing traffic chaos, after a member of their community was shot dead by an off-duty policeman in Haifa on Saturday night. The policeman, who has been arrested pending an investigation, said he drew his gun while trying to intervene in a brawl between two groups of youths, who ended up turning against him. Read more here


The bullet, according to police, was fired at the ground as a warning shot and bounced, striking Solomon Teka in the chest. A coroner’s report bears this out, according to reports. Read more here


Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Thursday paid a condolence visit to the family of Solomon Teka and said the entire nation was grieving with them. Read more here




Representatives from over 40 countries arrived in Israel last week for Agriisrael 4.0, a four-day conference showcasing Israel’s hi-tech prowess in agriculture…Tevel Aerobotics Technologies is currently testing its fleet of autonomous airborne robots for fruit harvesting… BeeHero utilizes real-time beehive data and pollination intelligence to predict beehive disorders in real-time and mitigate the growing problem of colony collapse…Manna Irrigation Intelligence uses satellite imagery, hyper-local weather forecasts, and self-developed crop models to provide growers with accurate valve-specific recommendations regarding when and how much to irrigate. Read more here




Israeli Foreign Minister Katz attended the recent UN Climate Change Summit in Abu Dhabi.He also me a senior representative of the United Arab Emirates to discuss the Iranian nuclear threat and the promotion of bilateral economic relations. Read more here




British Home Secretary Sajid Javid visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Monday during his latest trip to Israel. He also declared himself “honoured to be first British Cabinet Minister to say a prayer at Al Aqsa Mosque, and visit the beautiful Dome of the Rock.” Read more here




Dr.Talia Golan, an Israeli oncologist as well as lead researcher of the Pancreas Cancer Olaparib Ongoing Clinical Trial at the Sheba Medical Centre, works specifically with patients with advanced stages of pancreatic cancer as well as a BRCA 1 or 2 germline mutation. One patient Yoav Hadas, 51, was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer in April 2015 and then given between six months and a year left to live. He has been on Dr Golan’s treatment programme for four years and is now in full remission.            Read more here




The technology created by Israel’s Watergencompanyproduces clean drinking water from the air, greatly aiding areas struck by disasters and water pollution. It is now being harnessed in the South African province of Eastern Cape, which like much of the country has been suffering from severe drought.The technology produces fresh and safe drinking water to thousands of residents in the province, servicing some 3,400 households as well as dozens of early childhood development centres and schools.through an internal water-treatment system. Read more here


NOTE: In April, the South African government downgraded diplomatic relations with Israel and last December the ANC signed an agreement with Hamas.  Read more here  

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Salah Abu Miala, a Palestinian businessman from Hebron arrested on Saturday by Palestinian security forces for attending the U.S.-led economic workshop in Bahrain, was eventually released. Another businessman, Ashraf Ghanem, managed to flee after PA security forces attempted to arrest him. (See below) On Thursday, a former Palestinian Minister of Detainees had predicted that the Palestinian businessmen who attended the Bahrain workshop would be punished. Read more here


Ashraf Ghanem, owner of a furniture company in Hebron and one of 13 Palestinian businessmen who attended last week’s economic conference in Bahrain, said on Monday that he’d been forced to flee his home after Palestinian Authority security officers tried to arrest him on Friday. “I’m afraid for my life. I can’t go back to my home,” he said.”I pay about NIS 20,000 in income taxes each month to the P. A. Now they want to punish me and kill me just because I went to an economic conference. What has the P.A. done for the residents of Hebron? All the projects you see in Hebron are funded by the international community. Where does the money go? Where are the billions of dollars that the P.A. received in order to help the Palestinians?””I’m not a traitor, and I’m not a collaborator with Israel. I’m a businessman who wants to help his people and boost the Palestinian economy…and because of that I’m now being punished and forced to live in hiding.”   Read more here


White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner on Wednesday cautioned against “misunderstandings” about the purpose of the “Peace to Prosperity” conference last week in Bahrain…He added that African-American leaders have approached him asking that if the Palestinians reject the $50 billion laid out in the Peace to Prosperity plan, that the money be given to African nations to address their economic concerns.  Read more here




Archaeologists in Jerusalem have identified the “Pilgrimage Road,” the path millions of Jews took three times a year when performing the commandment to go up to the holy city during Judaism’s three key holidays: Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles).  The Pilgrimage Road goes from the Shiloah Pool to the area adjacent to the Western Wall known as Robinson’s Arch, where today you can still see remnants of the ancient stairway that led into the Jewish Temple. Read more here



Dr. Samer Haj Yehia, an Arab-Israeli economist, has been appointed chairman of Bank Leumi, Israel’s oldest bank where he has been a director for five years. Read more here




Israeli equestrian show jumpers have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, the first time that Israel has earned a place in the games in that sport.  Read more here




An upbeat Tel Aviv review: Read more here




J.Post editorial: The Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry referred to the unveiling of the Pilgrimage Road in the City of David as “Judaization activities.” U.S. Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt responded on Twitter: “We can’t ‘Judaize’ what history/archaeology show. We can acknowledge it & you can stop pretending it isn’t true! Peace can only be built on truth.”Trying to erase the Bible stories and the thousands of years of Jewish history in which Jerusalem has always been the focus of prayers and yearning does nothing to add credibility to the Palestinian cause. Read more here


Jeff Goodson: I spent a lot of time on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza in the 1990s, working on USAID road, water, housing, business, trade and other economic development projects…The Palestinians will happily take every nickel of U.S. taxpayer money, but trade, investment and economic development won’t incentivize them to moderate their hatred for Israel. That hatred is too much a part of their cultural identity. Read more here


Clifford D. May: Virtually everyone involved in the “peace process” has taken for granted that the primary goals of those who lead the Palestinians are peace, prosperity and self-determination. What if that’s wrong? What if the Palestinians really want something else?  Israelis proposed deals in 2000, 2001 and 2008. The Palestinians were offered more than 90% of the West Bank. Each time, their leaders declined. No counteroffers were presented.   In Bahrain last week, the U.S. did not ask that Palestinians do anything in exchange for the massive assistance package that was put on the table. Nonetheless, Abbas refused even to discuss the economic plan. Read more here