It’s been 3 weeks since the last Update so I’ll start with a retrospective summary of significant events during Pesach. (Passover) HRG
Over the holiday period, Israel was subjected to a multi-front assault. In a terrorist shooting attack in the Jordan Valley on April 7, British-Israeli sisters Maia and Rina Dee from Efrat were murdered and their mother Lucy (Leah) left in critical condition, succumbing to her wounds on April 10. Also on April 7, Italian tourist Alessandro Parini, a 35-year-old lawyer from Rome, was murdered in a car-ramming in Tel Aviv in which several other tourists were wounded….There were significant rocket attacks on three fronts from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. Also, with varying degrees of success, cyberattacks hit universities, government offices, irrigation plants, the Israel Post, Ben Gurion airport passport control and other agencies.
Israel’s Police Chief said that Palestinians who barricaded themselves in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Apr. 4 brought explosives into the mosque. Over 400 people were involved also bringing fireworks and stones into the building.
Police cited an agreement they had reached with the Jordanian Waqf banning Muslims from attempting to stay overnight in the mosque, as well as concerns that the Palestinians were preparing to attack Jews who visit the site. Read more here
This video (1 min 20 sec) usefully summarises what happened:
“Due to the professional action of Israeli police, there were no fatalities. Thanks to the efforts of Israeli security forces, tens of thousands of Muslims were able to safely return to pray at Al-Aqsa….” View here
Gil Hoffman writes: “dangerously bad reporting of what happened at al-Aqsa and on the Temple Mount was used as an excuse for Palestinian violence during Ramadan on three fronts. Innocent civilians were murdered, and too many Israeli families spent Passover in bomb shelters. Police used force to remove armed rioters from the mosque who intended to attack worshippers. The videos went viral, and incorrect reports said the police attacked Muslim worshippers – when the truth was that they used force in self-defence against rioters who intended to attack worshippers and ended up attacking the police.” Read more here
Then overnight April 8/9 hundreds of Palestinians again barricaded themselves in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, prior to the biannual Priestly Blessing ceremony at the Western Wall attended by tens of thousands of Jews on Sunday 9/4. Police were chiefly concerned that Palestinians would hurl rocks from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound at Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall below.Read more here
And see Bassam Tawil article at the end of this Update under “Further Comment & Opinion.” EXTRACT: “When the Israeli police moved to evict the agitators, many in the Western mainstream media attacked Israel for “assaulting peaceful worshippers” and sending troops to “storm” one of Islam’s holiest sites. Ironically, thanks to Israel’s hundreds of cost-free coaches that bus Muslims to Jerusalem during Ramadan from all over Israel, a record 200,000 worshippers attended the most recent Friday prayers, the Jordanian-controlled Islamic Waqf reported.” Read more here
This week on Monday night & Tuesday, Israel marked Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day. Each year, 6 Holocaust survivors are chosen to light torches at Yad Vashem in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.
The stories of Robert Bonfil, Efim Gimelshtein, Tova Gutstein, Ben-Zion Raisch, Malka Rendel and Judith Sohlberg are at this link:Read more here
The central theme of Holocaust Remembrance Day was Jewish resistance during the Holocaust and the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Read more here
On Tuesday morning, two men aged 48 & 50 were moderately wounded in a shooting terrorist attack in Jerusalem while driving back from morning prayers. Israeli security forces subsequently arrested the suspected attacker in Nablus. Read more here
The families of Or Eshkar, 32, who died on March 20 after being shot during a Palestinian terror attack in Tel Aviv on March 9, and Lucy Dee murdered in the Jordan Valley shooting attack, both donated their organs, each to five recipients. Read more here Read more here
Israel and Iran can have a prosperous future said Reza Pahlavi the son of the deposed Iranian Shah, as he and his wife Yakima made their first-ever visit to Israel on Monday night, travelling directly from Ben-Gurion Airport to the national Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem.Read more here
Iran has used earthquake relief flights to bring weapons and military equipment into Syria, according to nine Syrian, Iranian, Israeli and Western sources.. After the Feb. 6 earthquake in northern Syria and Turkey, hundreds of flights from Iran began landing in Aleppo, Damascus and Latakia bringing supplies, continuing for seven weeks. These included advanced communications equipment and radar batteries and spare parts required for an upgrade of Syria’s Iran-provided air defence system.Read more here
Brig.-Gen. Esmail Qaani, who leads the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, recently held a series of clandestine meetings with terrorist leaders across the region …in order to launch a fresh wave of attacks on Israeli targets. He also met the leaders of Hamas, Hizbullah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Beirut, where they finalized plans for the April 6th rocket attack on Israel from Lebanon. Rockets were also fired at Israel from Gaza and Syria. Read more here(paywall)
The Israel Security Agency head said Tuesday 4/4 that “only three months have passed, and this year more than 200 significant attacks have been thwarted, including about 150 shooting attacks, 20 bomb attacks, rammings, kidnappings and others.”Read more here
Israeli police and security forces recently thwarted eight terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Municipality and Israel Police announced on Monday. Some of the attacks were thwarted thanks to intelligence information, while others were thwarted by vigilant police officers who spotted the attackers. Read more here
IsraAID has launched an emergency response in Malawi, which is dealing with the aftermath of a cyclone that exacerbated a deadly cholera outbreak. An 8-person delegation is setting up cholera prevention points. They brought two large water filtration systems, chlorine tablets and oral rehydration salts to provide access to drinking water and prevent the spread of cholera. Read more here
32,000 former Israeli soldiers have already participated in the “Heroes for Life” programme which recruits volunteers for humanitarian causes in third-world countries, 8,000 in 2022 alone.
Last month, 40 former soldiers arrived in Rio de Janeiro to support local children living in shanty towns on the outskirts of the city. The army veterans teach English, maths, and personal hygiene, and work to improve the children’s living conditions. Read more here
The Israeli PULS artillery system is being sold to the Netherlands, Denmark & Germany. Read more here
The day after becoming a NATO member, Finland’s Ministry of Defence informed Israel of its decision to procure the David’s Sling advanced air-defence system following a long competitive evaluation…This is the first export sale of David’s Sling to a foreign military. It has been operational in Israel since 2017. Read more here
Israel has signed a $400 million deal to sell Greece anti-tank Spike missiles produced by Israeli defence contractor Rafael.Read more here
The Philippine Navy has received two Fast Attack Interdiction Craft-Missile (FAIC-M) platforms, two of nine FAIC-Ms that have been contracted from Israel Shipyards. Read more here
Gil Hoffman:EXTRACT. Rabbi Leo Dee’s wife, Lucy, and his daughters, Maia and Rina, were targeted because they were Jews. Thrust into the spotlight, Rabbi Dee used his pulpit to challenge the international media to cover Israel fairly. His message was, “Never accept terror as legitimate, never blame the murder on the victims, and there is no such thing as moral equivalence between terrorist and victim. The terrorist is always bad.” Imploring world media, he asked “Do you really believe in moral equivalence? Will you continue to support evil by giving it a voice? Am I and my family really a threat to world peace? We who teach kindness and love? We who value life over anything else? Is this anonymous killer really justified? Is he progressing moral values and a future for himself? Come on! Wake up! Listen to your souls.” Read more here
Liat Collins: (EXTRACTS) Maia and Rina (Dee) were the third set of siblings to be murdered by terrorists in the past three months. Brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv, aged 21 and 19, were killed in a similar attack on Route 60 in Huwara at the end of February. And earlier that month, the Pally brothers – Yaakov Israel, six, and Asher Menachem, eight – were killed along with another Israeli in a terrorist car-ramming attack at a bus stop in Ramot.
Ramadan should not be considered an excuse. It is not acceptable anywhere for worshippers to store weapons, rocks and incendiary devices in a house of prayer in preparation for attacks, but when it comes to al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount, somehow we are meant to get used to it. There is a need to reconsider the policing and prevention of such incidents and also the dismal way in which Israel’s authorities handled the PR aftermath.
The Jordanian Waqf, the custodians of the Muslim holy sites on the Mount, should also recalculate: If it is in charge of those sites, as it claims, it must take action to prevent the worshippers from barricading themselves in the mosques with improvised weapons. Any way you look at it, it is a desecration and an affront. Read more here
Bassam Tawil: EXTRACTS. Tens of thousands of Muslims from Israel and the West Bank were able to attend prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially on Fridays, in the first two weeks of Ramadan. That is until a group of extremists decided to turn the mosque compound into a scene of anarchy and lawlessness, violating the sanctity of the holy site and endangering the lives of the peaceful worshippers there…
These extremists, some wearing masks, did not come to pray. They came with stones, fireworks, wood planks and iron rods. That is not what Muslim worshippers usually bring to a mosque. Their intention was, to all appearances, to create a violent riot against Jewish visitors and the police…
The full responsibility for the latest tensions lies solely on the Muslims who hijacked Ramadan to incite violence and spew hatred against Israel and Jews. On March 21, the Islamic Waqf issued a directive that Muslims should not stay overnight at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This was agreed to during the recent Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh summits between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as by Jordan and Egypt. Yet the Islamic Waqf allowed these violent extremists to barricade themselves inside the mosque. Those who are desecrating the mosque are the people who damaged the interior of the mosque by using fireworks as weapons. Read more here
Amir Rapaport:EXTRACT. On Passover, April 6, the heaviest rocket barrage since the 2006 Second Lebanon War was launched from Lebanon towards Israeli territory, attributed to Hamas. Hamas wouldn’t have been able to build a rocket force in southern Lebanon without Hizbullah’s approval. Read more here