Israel Update: 4 January 2018
ROCKET ATTACKS ON SOUTHERN ISRAEL CONTINUED
Multiple mortar shells were fired from Gaza on Wednesday (yesterday) towards southern Israel. In response the I.A.F. struck what it termed as “major terror infrastructure”
Israel’s Iron Dome system last Friday intercepted two missiles fired from Gaza at Israeli communities on the Gaza perimeter.
Three rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel last Friday appeared to have been launched to deliberately coincide with a ceremony marking what would have been the 24th birthday of an IDF soldier who was killed in 2014, and whose remains are held by Hamas.
In retaliation for the volley of rockets fired at Israel, the IDF carried out strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza.
Former Israeli Defence Minister Ya’alon said that the mortars fired at southern Israel on Friday show increased Iranian involvement in Gaza; Iran and Hizbullah feel more confident because of their success in Syria and have begun paying more attention to Israel.
And see COMMENT & OPINION SECTION below
The Israel Security Agency recently reported that …Hamas in the West Bank is eager to carry out mega-terror attacks against Israel with instructions to launch attacks, including suicide bombings in shopping malls, buses, and other crowded venues. A senior intelligence source said, “The fact that buses are not blowing up every day is not a result of a lack of desire, effort, orders or investment of Hamas’ resources. It is, rather, the result of interdiction..
Israeli security forces broke up an alleged Hamas terrorist cell planning to carry out attacks in the West Bank, arresting five of its members in November, the Shin Bet security service revealed Monday.
Soldiers arrested a Palestinian who was holding a knife and walking toward their jeep in the West Bank on Monday evening. He dropped the knife on the ground and on searching him, the soldiers found a second knife in his possession.
TERROR ATTACK AFTERMATH
There has been a significant improvement in the condition of Asher Elmaliach, 46, the security guard stabbed in the heart by a Palestinian terrorist at the entrance to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station in early December, doctors said on Monday.
Protests rocking Iran that began as an outcry over economic issues have metastasized into demonstrations against a host of issues, including the regime’s support for Palestinian causes while ignoring problems at home… Iran has boasted of its support for the Palestinians, particularly Hamas. In August, Hamas in Gaza leader said Iran had become “the largest backer financially and militarily” of the terror group’s armed wing. Iran also openly supports armed movements in Syria and Iraq and is accused of backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen, including supplying them with missiles and other arms.
P.M. Netanyahu kept noticeably silent at Sunday’s cabinet meeting regarding internal developments in Iran, apparently not wanting to give the Iranians any excuse to blame the “Zionists” for the protests there. On Saturday night, Netanyahu reportedly instructed his cabinet ministers to minimize comments on the situation in Iran.
Israel’s Yam Pro Energy recently signed a $180 million MOU to build a wave energy power station in Ghana. According to the company, 3 billion people – half the world’s population – live within 200 km. of a coastline and can benefit from clean, renewable, ocean wave energy produced by its Sea Wave power plants.
A well-preserved piece of fired clay (a seal) dating to the First Temple period, (6th to 7th centuries BCE) with the Hebrew inscription “belonging to the governor of the city,” was recently discovered during excavations in the Western Wall Plaza. Jerusalem Mayor Barkat said the find “shows that already 2,700 years ago, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was a strong and central city.. one of the most ancient capitals of the world.”
A super-strong steel substitute, MP-1 invented in Israel that was sent into space by NASA is now being used in hip replacements, with knee replacements and even dental implants are now being planned. The advanced polymeric material is self-shielding, has high resistance to heat, is lightweight but very strong, and shows little wear and tear.
An all-time record 3.6 million tourists visited Israel in 2017, 25% more than in 2016, with 185,000 from the U.K. , 10% more than in 2016.
With Israel halfway through its fifth consecutive winter of depleted rainfall, thousands of Jews assembled last Thursday at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem to pray together for rain. (Subsequently heavy rain has fallen on several days this past week with more forecast)
Legendary Beatles musician Sir Ringo Starr will perform in Tel Aviv in June.
COMMENT & OPINION
David Farer: The alarm in Sderot is not a siren, but rather the recording of a woman’s voice, repeating “Tzeva Adom (Color Red).” This is usually followed by an almost simultaneous “Whoosh” that sounds like a Boeing jet flying through our living room as a pair of Iron Dome rockets blast off and up to destroy a missile that might well have struck our home. Often, bits of flaming metal fall on Sderot, descending on parks and streets for children to collect the next morning..These rockets have been a part of Sderot childhood for 15 years. These steady rocket attacks on a civilian population have a cumulative effect over a period of years. At the moment when Iron Dome was destroying the Kassam with that stupendous blast overhead, parents tried to calm their children, many of whom cried themselves into hysteria and could not get to sleep that night. The percentage of people here who suffer from hearing disabilities is higher in my town than elsewhere in Israel; many folks have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); one often hears of bed-wetting children; the percentage of premature birth or miscarriage among Sderot women is higher than it is elsewhere. Let no one say “nothing happened” because that night’s rocket hit no home.
Dov Hikind (a New York State Assemblyman (Democrat),Aid to the Palestinians — more than $5 billion since the mid-1990s — should not come without a commitment to peace from the Palestinians. But instead of making strides towards peace, the Palestinians continue to teach their school children to hate Israelis; continue to reward terrorists and glorify terrorism. What have they done with our money? Co-sponsored two intifadas — violent uprisings that destroyed the lives of numerous men, women and children on both sides of the conflict. The only people I can think of on the map who have been considered refugees for more than half a century are the Palestinians. This, despite foreign and US aid; despite the return of Gaza; despite every effort by neighboring Israel to help the Palestinians receive fresh water and vital electricity. The Palestinians remain “refugees” because it is politically expedient to play the victim card. If the Palestinians were to invest in social programs rather than terror tunnels, the refugee stigma would cease to exist.