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Israel Update 11.7.19


A delegation of 15 Yazidi and Christian survivors from Kurdistan and Iraq (currently resident in Germany) participated in a two-week post-trauma course in Israel, addressing the abuses they suffered at the hands of the Islamic State.  Read more here


Israeli intelligence agencies have prevented dozens of Islamic State terror group and Iran-sponsored attacks in various countries around the world (including Turkey whose President Erdogan is a fierce critic of Israel) by providing local authorities with key information which has thwarted 50 attacks in 20 countries over the past three years. Read more here


Five IDF soldiers were wounded, three moderately and two lightly, on Saturday when a Palestinian man crashed a car into the group, near the a check point in East Jerusalem. The driver was arrested overnight Saturday.

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While Israel’s border with Lebanon has seen 13 years of relative quiet and stability since the 2006 war with Hizbullah, the group has continued to expand its robust arsenal and develop three crucial power multipliers: precision capability for its missiles, a second front against Israel from Syria, and an offensive plan to penetrate Israeli territory, both above ground and via tunnels…Today, Hizbullah is capable of launching missiles into Israel on an even larger scale than 2006.  Read more here


The P.A. has implemented an 11.8% pay raise to jailed and released terrorists, based on its reported financial expenditures for the first 5 months of 2019.  Read more here

The terrorist who planned the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in 2014, has already received over 98,000 shekels in compensation from the P.A. since his capture by Israel. Having now served five years in prison, he is having his salary doubled by the PA, from 2,000 shekels/month to 4,000 shekels/month. The PA also pays monthly allowances to the families of the two dead terrorists who kidnapped and murdered the boys.

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The change in atmosphere in the West Bank is tangible, with tension and violence subsumed by relative calm and consumerism. Nathan Thrall, who leads the International Crisis Group’s Israeli-Palestinian project, notes that increasingly, “West Bankers are aspiring to middle-class life with mortgages and car payments.” Muhammad Abu Latifa, who spent seven years in jail for stabbing an Israeli civilian, noted, “People have started talking more about their economic situation than resistance.” He said many feel like “they have to confront the Palestinian Authority before the Israelis.”  Read more here

The Jerusalem District Court has ruled that the P.A. must pay compensation for 17 attacks carried out by the PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad during the Second Intifada, in which 34 Israelis were killed and seven others were wounded. The total compensation demanded stands at $280 million. The court found the PA responsible for the terror attacks on the grounds that it provided financial aid and weapons to carry out the attacks and because of ideological and financial support for the families of suicide bombers and Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel. Read more here


An elderly woman who was badly hurt while running to a bomb shelter in southern Israel in early May during an onslaught of rocket fire from  Gaza died of her injuries Sunday. Rivkah Jamil, 89, of Ashkelon fell and injured her spine while seeking cover from the projectiles and was hospitalized in serious condition. (See Comment section below) Read more here

The IDF shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) in Israel which infiltrated from Gaza on Monday.

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A tunnel dug from Gaza into Israel has been discovered during construction of an underground barrier along the Gaza border.  Read more here


Over the past year, Islamic Jihad has intensified its independent military actions from Gaza against Israel, including rocket and sniper fire. Its activities are not fully coordinated with Hamas and at times are even undertaken contrary to Hamas’ position. Islamic Jihad now has 6,000 combatants deployed in Gaza equipped with rockets and advanced Iranian ordnance.  Read more here

Thousands of young Gazans showed off their newly-acquired military skills in Gaza City as they graduated from a summer camp run by the Islamic Jihad terror group. Drills at the camp include how to raid an Israeli military outpost and capture a soldier, and how to use machine-guns and other weapons. The camps also provide the youngsters with “religious education”  preaching the destruction of Israel.  Read more here


Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has converted about 80% of Amazon’s fleet of 40 aircraft from passenger to cargo use. IAI workers seal off windows, rebuild cockpits and install larger doors. Amazon expects to have a fleet of 70 aircraft by 2021. Read more here


Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin was in Israel Monday visiting Jaffa’s bilingual kindergarten network for Jewish and Arab children, Bustan Yafa. Martin has in the past made contributions to “The Orchard of Abraham’s children” Foundation behind the kindergarten network, which seeks to promote coexistence. Read more here



Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz reportedly flew through Saudi airspace with the kingdom’s consent while making his way to an official visit to the UAE capital Abu Dhabi last week.  Read more here


An interview with the FBI’s assistant legal attaché for cybersecurity, working at the American Embassy in Israel and collaborating with local police, security and government agencies to share vital information about cyber threats to public or private entities.  Read more here

Cyber Intelligence, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, will provide the Dutch National Police with a cyber intelligence system.  Read more here


A 7-person delegation from the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce came to Israel to visit the Israeli Diamond Exchange recently. Indonesia, with the largest Muslim population in the world, does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Read more here


Israeli diplomat Yaron Wax was elected to serve as Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee and representative of Western European and Others Group of the UN last week. Israel is an important member of the committee and active in the development of medical assistance and equipping UN peacekeepers around the globe. Read more here

Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva: “Two years ago, I represented Iraq at Miss Universe. I posted a photo with Miss Israel on social media. I was told to remove it and forced to denounce Israeli policies. I received death threats. Since then, I can no longer return to my homeland.” “For advocating peace, I’m called a traitor. Negotiating peace for both states isn’t betraying the Arab cause but a vital step to end conflict and suffering for all.”  Read more here


Carly Pildis:The Palestinians are not helpless people who need to be rescued… they are fighting not only against Israel’s policies, but also against brutal, violent, authoritarian leaders of their own in both Gaza and the West Bank. They have agencies and form complex alliances and hold diverse opinions and don’t need some well-meaning American academic to swoop in and save them from themselves…Israel is a place, not a parable. It’s not a cartoon. It is neither a perfectly good nation nor an evil entity. It is also a place that was devastated by colonialism. Rome sought to erase Jews from the Middle East because they refused to obey a foreign imperialist power. The people of Judea fought to keep their land and eventually lost. The Romans named it Palestine…Attempting to kick Jews out of progressive spaces because of their Zionism and support for Israel, which many view as intrinsic to their identity, does not bring justice to Palestinians or better their lives. Instead, it entrenches the conflict and makes real peace-building conversations more difficult to have. Read more here


Marcus Sheff : The American “Peace to Prosperity” plan quite rightly focuses on enhancing Palestinian education. It is the school system that passes on the values that shape subsequent generations. By the time Palestinian students finish school, they have been thoroughly radicalized by the current Palestinian textbooks…No examples of cooperation between Israel and the PA are taught, and there is no education for coexistence. Instead, Palestinian textbooks are replete with encouragement to violence. Young Palestinians are taught to aspire to a life dedicated to jihad– that martyrdom is a realistic and recommended life goal.  Read more here


Saad Hafiz: One wonders what strategic benefit is derived by Pakistan by keeping overtures to Israel on hold, to curry favour with the Arabworld. Since the early years, our brotherly Arabs have treated Pakistan with a mixture of condescension and derision…It is illogical for Pakistan to wait for the complicated situation in the Middle East to resolve itself before establishing a relationship with Israel. India enjoys good relations with the Arab world, Iran and Israel. ..Establishing long-overdue diplomatic ties with Israel should top the foreign policy agenda.

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Zalman Shoval: The Palestinian leaders’ true intention is to thwart in advance any Israeli or international initiative that would put them on the road to genuinely and ideologically accepting the existence of the State of Israel, which could be interpreted as confirmation of the Jewish people’s right to a state in any part of Palestine. It is more important for PA President Mahmoud Abbas to go down in Palestinian history as one who stood firm against this eventuality rather than to take practical measures that would ease the hardships of his own people. Read more here


Elder of Zion blog: Rivkah Jamil, 89, of Ashkelon, who fell and injured her spine while seeking cover from Gaza rocket fire, has died of her injuries Palestine Today, a media arm of Islamic Jihad, reported that a “settler” died “after being wounded by shelling of the Quds Brigades of the occupied city of Ashkelon during the Battle of Bahr al-Badr on May 5.” There is no honour in an elderly woman dying from a fall, but Islamic Jihad believes there is great honour in killing Zionist civilians, since they tell their people there is no such thing as an Israeli who is not an “illegal settler.” Read more here