Israel Update: 14 June 2018
GUATEMALA VOLCANIC ERUPTION (CONTINUED)
An Israeli medical team including experts in treating burns, respiratory diseases and injuries arrived in Guatemala last Friday to help the victims of the country’s Fuega volcano eruption, which killed dozens of people, and caused many lava-related burns and lung injuries from inhaling volcanic dust.
The Israeli medical team dispatched to Guatemala are using a special enzyme developed at the Soroka-University Medical Centre in Beersheba to facilitate the speedy recovery of burns and reduce the need for surgery
ISRAELI MEDICAL AID FOR SYRIANS
Four Syrian women recently brought their daughters to Jerusalem for heart surgery which has changed their lives. Syrian doctors heard the heart murmurs but could offer no solutions. In addition to treating Syrian war casualties, more than 4,000 Syrians from villages or refugee tent camps near the border have been treated for serious health problems.
Shuva Malka, the 18-year-old woman who was stabbed and seriously wounded in Afula on Monday in a terror attack, remained in intensive care “in serious but stable condition,” on Tuesday. Her Arab assailant was arrested. https://www.timesofisrael.com/afula-stabbing-victim-shuva-malka-remains-in-serious-but-stable-condition/
ARSON ATTACKS AGAINST SOUTHERN ISRAEL FROM GAZA
Gaza’s self-declared “incendiary kites and balloons unit” vowed today Thursday to fly 5,000 incendiary balloons and kites into Israel tomorrow Friday…The IDF attacked infrastructure on Thursday afternoon, where earlier a terror cell was preparing incendiary balloons…On the Gaza borders, firefighters were battling 11 blazes in different areas caused by incendiary kites.
By last Thursday, Israeli drones have downed over 500 fire kites and balloons launched by Gazans toward Israel over the previous 10 weeks… 4,500 acres of agricultural fields, forests and grasslands have been burned, causing over $1.4 million in damage,
Last Friday saw a new record with 45 fires breaking out across the border area. Some 60 firefighters and 20 fire trucks worked to put out the flames. Ten different fires broke out on Saturday in Israeli communities on the Gaza border as a result of incendiary kites flown from the Gaza Strip.
Firefighters spent hours many extinguishing 17 brush fires on Sunday. In addition, police said that children in a town near the border discovered a kite with a suspected bomb attached. https://www.timesofisrael.com/17-fires-extinguished-near-gaza-after-incendiary-kite-attacks/
Residents of Israeli communities near the Gaza border have begun a massive tree-planting campaign this week in response to the destruction caused by incendiary kites from Gaza. The Jewish National is supplying There were at least nine fires ignited within 40 minutes in a forest last Thursday.
The (incendiary) kites are uniform, with the same hexagonal shape and balsa wood construction indicating that this is a concerted terror effort and not just a hodge-podge activity for bored children.
Warning shots have been fired by the IAF Saturday & Wednesday towards groups preparing incendiary devices. https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-aircraft-fires-warning-shot-at-gazans-making-incendiary-balloons/ https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-fires-at-gazans-preparing-incendiary-kite-to-send-into-israel/
WEST BANK ARSON ATTACK
Mimicking tactics that have been increasingly used as part of violent Gaza border protests in recent weeks, Palestinians in the West Bank launched what are believed to be the first incendiary kites used there last Thursday…One of the kites caused a fire in a field, which was quickly put out without major damage, while another struck a power line, causing a power outage in the area for several hours.
P.M. Netanyahu released a video Sunday in which he offered Israel’s water expertise to an Iran facing an environmental disaster due to persistent drought…“Sadly, Iran bans Israelis from visiting, so we’ll have to get creative,” Although “The Iranian regime shouts, ‘Death to Israel!… We will launch a Farsi website with detailed plans on how Iranians can recycle their waste water. We will show how Iranian farmers can save their crops and feed their families.”
As thousands marched in Iran on Friday to mark the regime-led Quds Day — an annual day of protest against Israel — some Iranians launched a Twitter campaign to express support for the Jewish state.
There were tens of thousands of tweets with the hashtag #WeStandWithIsrael,
P.M.Netanyahu told the Policy Exchange think tank in London last Thursday that no country in the world has developed any non-lethal alternative against protesters seeking fatalities. ” Hamas’ goal was to have as many casualties, our goal was to minimize casualties and avoid fatalities.” “When I talk with European leaders, I always say ‘What would you do?’ The last thing we want is any violence or casualties. No country in the world [has offered an alternative].” He said he would be “the first one to use” any non-lethal solution to the violent protests, but emphasized that “any country would stop a direct assault on the lives of their civilians.”
The IDF released a video showing the Gazan medic shot during border clashes, lobbing a smoke grenade toward Israeli forces. The video included an interview she gave to an Arabic news outlet, saying, “I’m here on the line being a protective human shield.” An IDF general asked on Thursday, “Do medics in other countries throw bombs and participate in riots and refer to themselves as human shields?”
LAST FRIDAY’S RIOTS
The Israeli Air Force last Thursday dropped flyers (in Arabic) across the Gaza Strip calling on Palestinians not to take part in violent protests along the security fence, ahead of a mass demonstration expected near the border on Friday. https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-drops-flyers-warning-gazans-not-to-join-friday-border-protests/
Approximately 10,000 people took part in mass demonstrations at the Gaza Strip border on Friday afternoon for the 11th week in a row.
The IDF said protesters hurled grenades, improvised explosives and rocks at soldiers, burned tyres and flew dozens of incendiary kites and balloons into Israeli territory, sparking a number of fires.At one point gunmen opened fire at an IDF post. There were 4 reported Gazan fatalities.
Earlier this week, Israel allowed the entrance of over 91,000 Palestinians into Jerusalem overnight for prayers on the Temple Mount. Laylat al-Qadr, known in English as the Night of Fate or Night of Decree, comes toward the end of the month of Ramadan. https://www.timesofisrael.com/settlers-palestinians-soldiers-clash-in-northern-west-bank-overnight/
The secretary general of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, the 60-million-member Nahdlatul Ulama, visited Israel for a conference in Jerusalem. Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, and his visit triggered angry protests at home. He says there needs to be “a new discourse” to recognize that Muslims and non-Muslims are equal and should be able to coexist peacefully.
Sarah Idan, Iraq’s representative at the 2017 Miss Universe pageant – whose Instagram photo last year with her Israeli counterpart forced her family to flee the country – was cheered and hugged this week by shoppers at Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market during her visit to Israel. She was also reunited with her Israeli friend Adar Gandelsman.
The musical “The Band’s Visit,” based on the Israeli film of the same name, and set in a small Israeli town in the Negev desert, was the big winner at the Tony Awards on Sunday, capturing the best musical award and nine other prizes.
The international soccer organization FIFA announced on Wednesday that it would be taking disciplinary steps against Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Football Association for threatening Lionel Messi, the star striker of the Argentinian soccer team if he played in a friendly soccer game against Israel in Jerusalem that was subsequently cancelled.
COMMENT & OPINION
Lenny Ben-David:Most Israelis know that the shooting of a Palestinian medical volunteer at the Gaza border riots on June 2 was not deliberate. We simply don’t do things like that. If a rare act of murder of Arabs by an Israeli takes place, Israelis are shocked and demand justice…The IDF isus, our sons and daughters, our husbands in reserves. The front is only a few miles away. If anything is amiss or orders seem illegal, our soldiers pick up the phone and call us or the army reporter for Israel Radio.Misdeeds, brutality, or illegal orders are not covered up; in this talkative society, they can’t be. In Israel, investigations take place. Criminal acts are prosecuted. Due process is carried out.
At the same time, we have met the enemy, and he is cruel. Israelis witnessed over the years savage mobs dismembering two reservists with their bare hands, buses and restaurants exploding, children stabbed in their bedrooms, and rabbis butchered while at prayer. We’re sad over the deaths on the other side, but we’re not overly apologetic.
Ten minutes after the Palestinians decide one day to make peace with us, we will rush to assist them with jobs, water, electricity, agriculture, waste management, economic development, housing, and healthcare. Because that is what we do.
Nikki Guttman: The Israel-Gaza border fence has been the site of riots for 11 consecutive weekends. The closer you get to the fence, the blacker the smoke appears. The Israeli soldiers tell us, “We can barely see anything. Everything’s black.” When the enraged mob armed with axes and knives reaches the fence, the criticism aimed at the IDF suddenly seems incomprehensible and baseless.The troops are not trying to kill; they are protecting the residents of nearby communities. A throng of protesters approaches the fence, shouting jubilantly – a sign that the fence is on the verge of being breached. Seven soldiers run toward them, using tear gas. There are about 3,000 protesters at this flashpoint, and the number of soldiers facing them appears minuscule
Kenneth Jacobson: The tragic events that took place on the Israeli-Gaza border in recent weeks were only the latest manifestation of a decades-long pattern: the Palestinians take extreme actions, the Israelis react and the international community and media come down hard on Israel…In the name of standing up for the Palestinians, those who place all the blame for current tensions on Israel – whether diplomats or media – reinforce the mindset that Palestinians can achieve their goals through violent and extreme action, and without engaging or reconciling with Israel.
Matan Barad (an IDF soldier) :Have you ever seen 4,000 people running towards you full of hate and yelling “Allah Akhbar”? We have been shot at, we saw a bomb explode that was meant for us, we saw people run towards us with knives and axes meant to kill us. We know that if they pass us, they are going for our people, family, and friends.Our last resort is to shoot. We send smelly bombs to keep them away. But they keep coming, so we shoot. Every shot you take needs to get approved by 2 different people. Every shot is written down and checked by officials. We don’t regret a shot we took. Every shot we took was to protect the people we love.
Kongdan Oh: In 1997, a North Korean delegation met with the Israeli ambassador in Stockholm, explained that their country had successfully tested a satellite missile, and warned that Iran and other Middle Eastern states were interested in buying it. They asked Israel for $1 billion in exchange for withholding the missile technology from its enemies. The Israelis declined to give cash, but they did offer humanitarian aid, agricultural technology, medicine, and other assistance worth even more than a billion. Pyongyang refused the deal.