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Israel Update 12.9.19

ROCKET ATTACKS ON SOUTHERN ISRAEL ON CONSECUTIVE DAYS

 

On Tuesday Gazans fired two rockets at Ashkelon and Ashdod, where P.M. Netanyahu was holding an election rally. “Leave quietly,” Netanyahu told the crowd before calmly walking off the stage. He returned minutes later to resume his speech. The IDF responded, hitting 15 targets in Gaza. Both missiles were intercepted by Iron Dome defence system. Read more here

On Wednesday, Gazans fired three rockets at Israel. One landed in a greenhouse, while another landed in the garden in another community, damaging a home. In response, an IDF tank hit two Hamas military positions. Read more here

 

SOVEREIGNTY IN THE JORDAN VALLEY

 

P.M. Netanyahu said Tuesday that steps to apply sovereignty over all Jewish communities in the West Bank, starting with the Jordan Valley, would be taken in coordination with the U.S. He said. “This will ensure that Judea and Samaria do not become Gaza, and that Kfar Saba, Netanya and Tel Aviv will not become like communities along the border of Gaza.” adding that Israel could carry out the plan without annexing a single Palestinian, and ensuring that Palestinians maintain complete freedom of movement throughout the West Bank. Netanyahu’s main rivals, Blue and White party leaders Gantz and Lapid, have said in the past that they too envision Israel keeping the Jordan Valley forever. Read more here

 

Video: Why Israel Opposes International Forces in the Jordan Valley. (4 min 37 seconds)  View here

 

MORE GAZA NEWS

Last Friday’s riots were especially violent and included the throwing of a large number of explosive devices, hand grenades and fire bombs at the fence and IDF soldiers.” Reportedly 2 Gazans were killed. The IDF  identified five rockets that crossed the border into Israeli territory overnight.Israeli artillery and aircraft attacked several  Hamas military targets in retaliation. Two Israeli women were treated for shock.  Read more here

 

Israeli troops on Saturday detained three Gazan boys aged 13 who crossed into Israel armed with a knife.  Read more here

 

On Saturday, a drone from Gaza entered Israeli airspace and dropped explosives on a military vehicle by the border fence, causing light damage, though no Israeli soldiers were hurt. An Israeli military aircraft fired at the Gaza cell that launched the drone attack. Later, Saturday, Israel carried out several air strikes on Hamas positions in Gaza. Read more here

At least one rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Sunday night, but it landed in Gaza, short of the border.       Read more here

 

Israeli security forces thwarted an attempt to smuggle olive-green fabric for IDF uniforms into Gaza,.The cloth rolls were hidden among other goods. Every day, 800 trucks enter Gaza carrying medical equipment, food, fuel, building materials, agricultural inputs, and textile products. Read more here

 

IRAN

 

The UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Monday that Iran was installing advanced centrifuges After the IAEA assessment was released, Israel’s Foreign Minister Katz said “History has taught us more than once that surrendering to tyrants only leads to violence, not peace…The world must unite to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its support for terrorism in the region and around the world.”   Read more here

 

P.M. Netanyahu said Monday that Iran destroyed a facility this summer where it had conducted secret nuclear-weapons experiments. He showed satellite images of the facility.  Read more here

 

SYRIA

An Iran-backed militia in Syria fired several rockets from Damascus suburbs toward northern Israel early Monday morning, but they fell short of the border.  Read more here

 

ATTACK

 

Two Israelis were stabbed while visiting a Palestinian dentist in the West Bank. Both said that the dentist helped to save them.       Read more here

 

NATO

The IDF’s international law division is assisting NATO  with lawfare challenges arising from asymmetric warfare situations.           Read more here

 

VIOLENCE IN EUROPE

Several Israeli students in Warsaw on a semester abroad were violently assaulted early Saturday by a group  of Qataris. One who lost consciousness was treated for a broken nose and eye socket. He was highly critical of both passers by and night club security personnel, who did nothing to help.  Read more here

 

A group of between 10 and 12 BDS activists violently assaulted visitors, punching two women, at the Israeli Seret International film festival on Sunday in Berlin, causing injuries and disrupting a podium discussion.  Read more here

 

BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT & SANCTIONS (BDS) AGAINST ISRAEL

 

A week after an anti-Israel agitator posted videos on Facebook calling for a boycott of Toronto businesses that support Israel, the owner of the Taste of Israel grocery store said sales had more than doubled. Read more here

 

TECHNOLOGY

 

Healthy.io, a digital health care Israeli startup leveraging AI to bring professional-grade medical imaging to the homes of those with chronic kidney disease. Its 10-parameter digital testing kit — Dip.io — enables patients to collect and analyze urine samples with nothing more than a smartphone app, a dip stick, and a color-coded slide. The company announced that it has secured $60 million funding to accelerate its global expansion and product development. Read more here

 

MINORITIES IN ISRAEL

Mohammad Kabiya, a Bedouin Muslim living in Israel, serves in the IDF as a reservist and advocates for his country. (3 min 42 secs) Read more here

 

Since 2008, the number of Arab engineers in high-tech has risen nearly 20-fold…Some 700 Arab engineers join Israel’s high-tech industry every year, and 25% of Arabs working in high-tech are women.The number of Arabs studying for degrees in high-tech-related fields has doubled in the past six years.  Read more here

 

NORTH KOREA

 

North Korea has been actively bolstering states hostile to Israel, and facilitating attacks on the country, since the 1960s…Israel’s security officials say that North Korea’s past actions suggest Kim would have no qualms transferring his country’s increased military capabilities to Israel’s Mideast enemies, for the right price.  Read more here

 

COMMENT & OPINION

The Jordan Valley

Sean Savage: Prof. Eugene Kontorovich..said, “The Prime Minister’s announcement is fully in line with Israel’s international legal rights. Because these territories were part of the British Mandate, Israel has as much legal right to them as to Tel Aviv.” He said such a move should not be seen as annexation because the territory currently does not belong to a foreign country and annexation means the taking of the territory of a foreign country. “Israel waited for more than 50 years to regularize the status of these territories, giving the Palestinians opportunity after opportunity to make a peace deal that would have given them a sovereign state. The Palestinians refused time after time, rejecting initiatives under presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump. Israel has now decided that the people in these areas cannot be held in limbo forever; Israelis should not pay the price for Palestinian intransigence.”  Read more here

 

Herb Keinon: Gold noted that one of the significant aspects of Netanyahu’s announcement was that he presented a map where he defined the area that he feels is necessary for Israel’s security, and that the map he used is very close to the one that Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon proposed soon after the 1967 war. Gold said that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin also adhered to the Allon Plan to retain the Jordan Valley, saying in his final address to the Knesset in 1995 that in any future agreement, “the Jordan Valley in the widest sense of that term would be the security border of the State of Israel.”   Read more here

 

Erielle Davidson: Israeli Prime Minister never used the word “annexation” on Tuesday regarding his plan to formalize Israeli sovereignty in the Jordan Valley. Instead, he spoke of “applying sovereignty.” There is a reason for his careful choice of wording, and for its mistranslation and misrepresentation abroad. A nation cannot annex land over which it already has sovereign claims. Yet foreign media is doing its best to portray the potential application of sovereignty in the Jordan Valley as illegitimate. Read more here