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Israel Update 15.8.19

NOTE: The Israel Update is taking a break for a couple of weeks.

BREAKING NEWS

The Interior Minister announced on Thursday that Israel has decided to deny entry to two US congresswomen, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, over their support for boycotting the country. Reportedly the Minster would consider letting Tlaib enter Israel in order to visit her relatives in the West Bank, if requested to do so. The congresswomens’  reported itinerary referred to their destination as “Palestine”.  Read more here

GAZA BORDER – TERRORIST ATTACKS THWARTED

IDF troops killed four heavily-armed Gazans as they attempted to cross the border at 4 a.m. on Saturday. The terrorists were armed with AK-47 assault rifles, RPG grenade launchers, and hand grenades. And an  IDF spokesman said “a large-scale terrorist attack was thwarted” and that that the nature and scope of the weaponry showed that there was a carefully prepared operation in motion.
Read more here

The four infiltrators were also armed with hunting knives and bolt cutters. The IDF released a number of photos of the seized weapons. Israeli troops “opened fire after one of the terrorists scaled the barrier and hurled a grenade at the soldiers,” Read more here

Hamas condemned the IDF’s killing of four heavily-armed Gazans trying to infiltrate into Israel, referring to the dead gunmen as “angry youth.” Yet it is clear from the images of the dead terrorists published in the Gaza media that these were not teens, rather adults.  Read more here

A Hamas member opened fire at IDF troops at the Gaza border early Sunday before being killed by return fire. Read more here

Israeli troops on Monday arrested an armed man attempting to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza. The attempted breach marked the third time in a single week that Israeli forces had thwarted infiltration attempts. Read more here

ARSON BALLOON ATTACK

A balloon-borne incendiary device launched from the Gaza Strip sparked a fire in southern Israel Sunday, the local fire department said, amid rising tensions along the border. Read more here

MURDER OF DVIR SOREK

Two cousins, one a Hamas activist were arrested Friday for the murder last Wednesday evening of Israeli student Dvir Sorek.        Read more here

Palestinian friends of Israeli student Dvir Sorek, who was stabbed to death last week by Palestinian terrorists, issued a public letter expressing shock over his killing on Tuesday, recalling his participation in an interfaith forum aimed at fostering dialogue between Islam and Judaism. “Over the past two years, he would regularly attend our meetings. During each meeting, we talked about our daily lives and the future we wanted to build together. We would meet every other week; we were young Palestinians and Israelis.” “We send our condolences to his family and to our friends in his yeshiva. As a group, we condemn such brutal actions; such violence hurts all of us. We build bridges between the peoples on this land.” The Palestinian friends chose not to reveal their identity because of the potential backlash from terrorist sympathizers. Read more here

HAMAS – ACTIVITIES IN GAZA & BEYOND

Hamas is still holding the bodies of two IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 war Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23 and Oron Shaul, 20. To this day, Hamas refuses to grant the International Committee of the Red Cross access to their remains. Holding the bodies of soldiers killed in action and refusing their return to their next of kin for burial is a flagrant and indisputable violation of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law. Read more here

The Hamas unit dubbed the Restraining Force numbers several hundred armed men who serve as a type of border patrol. The unit is tasked with thwarting rocket attacks or terror attacks against Israeli targets by rogue organizations in Gaza that could embroil Hamas in a war it does not want. Read more here

A former head of the Jerusalem and West Bank district and also head of cyber operations in the Israel Security Agency said that the “traditional threat of organized terror  (in the W.B.) remains. A large number of these attacks are planned and funded from Gaza, mostly by people who were deported in the Shalit deal, who are acting there through a body called the West Bank Command and who have integrated in recent years into the military wing of Hamas in Gaza and have learned from its people new, more military methods of action….Iran is also involved in inculcating professional knowledge.” Read more here

TISHA B’AV

The Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av, commemorating the destruction of both temples located at the Temple Mount, coincided this year with the beginning of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.  Tens of thousands of Muslims flocked to the Temple Mount on Sunday after rumours circulated that police would allow Jewish visitors to enter the site. Palestinians threw stones at police, who responded with crowd control measures. When a group of Jewish visitors entered the site under close police escort, Muslims began throwing chairs and other objects at them. Read more here

 

THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

The Palestinian Authority was called to task for hate speech and anti-Semitism in its official statements and in its textbooks during its first-ever review by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination held in Geneva on Tuesday. Read more here

 

LAWYER’S DOUBLE LIFE

Tarek Barghout, 44, was one of the best known lawyers representing Palestinians on trial in Israel. Judges knew him, military prosecutors joked with him. But what his colleagues and acquaintances didn’t know is that for the past two years Barghout has perpetrated terrorist acts in the West Bank. At one point he found himself representing Palestinians who were charged with carrying out an act of terrorism that he himself had perpetrated. Allegedly he carried out multiple shooting attacks armed with an M-16 rifle.                                           Read more here

CHILE

Senior officials of Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency and blood-services network, are helping the Providencia municipality in the Chilean capital city of Santiago to train municipal security personnel as first responders in medical emergencies. Read more here

 

CYBERSECURITY

Cybersecurity researchers at Tel Aviv University and Haifa’s Technion have discovered “critical vulnerabilities” in the Siemens S7, one of the world’s most secure programmable logic controllers, an industrial digital computer used to run manufacturing processes. The research was shared with Siemens, enabling the company to fix the vulnerabilities. Read more here

AWARDS

Six Israeli restaurants were winners at the recent 4th Annual World Luxury Restaurant Awards for 2019. Read more here

ARCHITECTURE

An inverted iceberg-shaped tower rises on the Tel Aviv skyline.  Read more here

1982 FRENCH PACT WITH TERRORISTS

After the 1982 terrorist attack at the Chez Jo Goldenberg Jewish deli in Paris, which killed 6 people and wounded 22, French authorities reportedly agreed to a secret pact with the Palestinian terrorists behind the massacre – the Abu Nidal group – guaranteeing Abu Nidal operatives free movement within France in exchange for a promise of no further attacks on French soil. Read more here

MEDIA CRITIQUES

Adam Levick: On Aug. 11th, the Guardian published an Associated Press article on clashes that day at the Temple Mount instigated by rioting Muslim worshippers objecting to a small number of Jews who were initially allowed to visit their faith’s holiest site. (Sunday marked both the start of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha and the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av.) According to reports, dozens of Muslim worshippers were injured as well as four Israeli police officers. There’s no question that the Muslim worshippers were responsible for the violence, as the original AP report explained: However, the Guardian version of the AP report just so happened to omit that key paragraph on the riot’s cause, leaving readers with no information on why exactly Israeli police “clashed” with Muslim worshipers. Other than the Guardian, every news outlet we surveyed that published a version  of the same AP report included that original paragraph noting the Palestinian violence which caused the clashes on Sunday – providing another example of how the Guardian routinely omits important facts in order to obfuscate Palestinian culpability.   Read more here

Honest Reporting: On Saturday morning, a large-scale terror attack was prevented when Israeli soldiers killed four heavily armed Gazans trying to infiltrate into Israel . (See News item above) However, The Independent’s headline left out a significant part of the story: “Israeli army kills four Palestinians attempting to cross Gaza fence”  An Associated Press headline had referred to “miltants” … but The Independent changed the headline to obscure the fact that these men were terrorists carrying a substantial supply of bullets and grenades together with RPGs, rifles and knives. Describing these individuals as merely “Palestinians” would seem to be a deliberate attempt to cover up for terrorists and is utterly unacceptable….Eventually after H.R. complained, the headline was changed to  “Israel kills four Palestinians following attack at Gaza border”  Read more here

COMMENT & OPINION

Yossi Kuperwasser  (In the absence of the) possibility of advancing a peace process, moves may be expected to apply Israeli law on the Jewish communities in the West Bank. While some have called such a move “annexation,” this is misleading. There is a significant legal difference between applying laws and annexation. Applying Israeli law won’t change the situation on the ground and will grant the Jewish communities the status enjoyed by Israeli communities within the 1967 lines and in Jerusalem. It does not change the basic idea embodied in the Oslo Accords that this is disputed territory awaiting negotiations to determine its final status. The vast majority of the Israeli public does not support annexation and Israel has no intention of annexing areas densely populated by Palestinians or applying Israeli law on them. Read more here

Khaled Abu Toameh: The leaders of Hamas recently ordered their security forces to detain several Palestinian activists for allegedly planning another wave of protests similar to those that swept Gaza in March. Those demonstrations were organized to protest the longstanding economic crisis…   Unless Hamas’ violent repression of its own people sparks some concern among the international community, the prospects of Palestinians revolting against their Hamas leaders are slim. But this would require a shift in perspective: from obsession with the faults of Israel – real or imagined – to an interest in the real and deadly world of Hamas. Read more here