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Israel Update: 14-18 July 2017


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Updates over the next few weeks could be sporadic as the editor is travelling. This week’s focusses on the Temple Mount attack last Friday and its repercussions.




Israel Police on Friday released security footage from the shooting attack at the Temple Mount that day. Two Israeli police officers, one of them standing, the other sitting, are in an alleyway just outside the Temple Mount compound when two armed men, weapons drawn, run up behind the standing officer and shoot him in the back. The terrorists then ran back to the Temple Mount compound. Channel 2 news reported late Friday that the second policeman may have been killed by the assailants on the Mount itself, after they had fled back.


The Arab League condemned Israel for its closure of the Temple Mount following a terror attack at the holy site but their statement made no mention of the cause of the temporary closure — the terror attack earlier in the day that claimed the lives of two Israeli police officers.


The three terrorists were Arab-Israelis using two Carlo-style submachine guns and a pistol to carry out the attack. One of them also tried to stab an officer.


Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Saturday night that three Waqf officials were under arrest on suspicion of assisting or encouraging the Temple Mount attackers. It said the three gunmen had stored their weapons inside the compound several days before Friday’s attack. One of the three Waqf officials arrested was reported to have been seen acting suspiciously on security cameras.


(The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf is a Jordanian Islamic religious trust best known for controlling and managing the current Islamic edifices on and around the  Temple Mount)



Israeli police uncovered dozens of weapons in the Temple Mount compound during searches on Friday and Saturday, the Jerusalem Police Chief said on Sunday. “We found dozens of knives, slingshots, cudgels, spikes, inciting material, unexploded munitions, [and] stun grenades,” Halevi said. “The search was coordinated with Waqf officials, including even having one or two Waqf people accompany us.”


The two Israeli Druze police officers were laid to rest in their northern Israel villages on Friday evening. Haiel Sitawe, 30, joined the Israel Police in 2012 and had served in the unit responsible for securing the Temple Mount ever since. He leaves behind a wife, Irin, and a three-week-old son. Kamil Shnaan, 22, had signed on as a career officer seven months ago. He was the son of former Labour Party Knesset member Shachiv Shnaan. His engagement party was to be held next week.


Jordan’s King Abdullah II condemned the attack in a phone conversation with Israel’s P.M. Netanyahu…. In contrast to the king’s condemnation, members of the Jordanian parliament praised the three attackers. The July 16 joint parliament-government session described them as “martyrs, who fell [in order] to water [and to continue to water] the pure land of Palestine [with their blood],” Numerous articles in the Jordanian press condemned Israel. A column from the government daily Al-Rai, praised the attack and referred to the attackers’ “martyrdom”.


As part of the security measures taken in the wake of the shooting to prevent further such attacks, police installed metal detectors at the entrance to the site. Friday’s gunmen, residents of the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm, had emerged armed from the compound and opened fire on the police officers stationed outside. The Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called for a “Day of Rage” on Wednesday to protest new security measures installed by Israel at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem after a terror attack by three Israeli-Arabs killed two Israeli police officers.


Protesters rioted in East Jerusalem neighbourhoods overnight Tuesday against new security measures at the Temple Mount, throwing stones and petrol bombs at police and shooting fireworks at Israeli forces. At least 50 Palestinians and one officer were reported hurt.


Clashes broke out between Muslims and police in the Old City of Jerusalem for the third night in a row on Tuesday, in response to Israel placing metal detectors at entrances to the Temple Mount compound following a terror attack in the area. After evening prayers at a gate outside the Temple Mount, a group of Muslims “started throwing rocks and bottles at the police officers”


The first medic to respond to the Temple Mount terror attack was Nedal Sader  a Muslim who frequently prayed at the compound. His organisation United Hatzalah has about 300 Muslim, Druze and Christian volunteers EMTs, paramedics and doctors, who account for about 10 percent of the total


NRG/Maariv reported that the Mufti of Jerusalem issued a new religious edict for Muslims on Monday: Any Muslim who goes to the Temple Mount to pray at the Mosques, and enters via the Zionist metal detectors, their prayers will be “invalid” and not be received by Allah. The “Zionist metal detectors” were installed as a security measure after last Friday’s fatal terrorist attack when 3 Arab terrorists shot and killed 2 Israeli policeman at the Holy site, using weapons they smuggled in and stored at the Mosques on the Temple Mount.


In 2011 Saudi Lieutenant Colonel Fawaz al-Sahafi, who heads the security team at Mecca’s Holy Mosque, spoke of plans to fit “sophisticated metal and explosive detectors” at the multiple gates.



David Horowitz:


It’s outrageous that in parts of the Muslim world, Israel is being castigated for installing metal detectors designed to boost security at the holiest place in the world for Jews and the third holiest for Muslims…


It’s outrageous that many of those who are castigating Israel for ostensibly “changing the status quo” at the Temple Mount / Al-Aqsa Mosque compound are doing so without so much as mentioning the murderous attack that defiled the holy site and prompted the deployment of the metal detectors…


It’s outrageous that the deployment of metal detectors outside the compound is being misrepresented as a change to that post-1967 status quo, when Israel since 1967 has always maintained overall security responsibility for the site, and when Friday’s events manifestly demonstrate the imperative for improved security…

It’s outrageous that the metal detectors are deemed unacceptable when religious sites the world over are secured in exactly the same way, for exactly the same unfortunately necessary reasons…


It’s beyond outrageous that, since the compound was reopened by Israel on Sunday, after two days of security sweeps following Friday’s murderous attack, the Waqf officials have overseen what amounts to a boycott of their own holy places — insisting that Muslim worshipers not enter the Al-Aqsa compound so long as the metal detectors remain in place. The religious custodians of the third most holy place in Islam self-evidently loathe the notion of what they portray as a submission to those Jewish-overseen security checks more than they cherish the right and opportunity to pray there…


To put it really crudely then, Arabs killed Arabs at a holy place, the Jews are trying to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, and the Arab world is furious with the Jews about it. (As the footage below shows, one of the victims has his back to the compound as the gunmen emerge; he was there to protect them from outside attack.)






Israel Update: 13 July 2017


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Israeli Energy Minister Steinitz and Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah on Monday signed a deal under which Israel will increase the power supply to Palestinian cities in the West Bank. As part of the deal, a new electrical substation was inaugurated near Jenin that will transmit 60 megawatts of electricity purchased from the Israel Electric Corporation. The internationally-funded substation is one of four to be operated in the area by a PA-owned transmission company and represents the first time the Palestinians will be able to control the distribution of the electricity to their own towns and cities. The station was built by the Israel Electric Corporation, by both Israeli and Palestinian workers, but it is owned by the Palestinian Electric Authority (PEA) and the PA. The IEC also trained Palestinians to work, maintain and fix the site.


Israel and the P.A. on Thursday announced an agreement that will provide millions of cubic meters of drinking water to the Palestinians from a desalination process. The deal is part of a larger trilateral agreement for the construction of a 220-kilometer (137-mile) pipeline transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea to benefit Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians, and replenish the dwindling Dead Sea. As the water runs down the gradient it will be used to generate electricity that will also power a desalination plant to produce drinking water.


High mortality rates from vehicular accidents have spurred Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank to set up a volunteer organization that will campaign for more careful driving; ten people have recently died in a span of ten days on Road 60. The organization will additionally try to fight the use of cars that do not meet the necessary safety standards.,7340,L-4988967,00.html



An Israeli soldier was moderately wounded in a car ramming on Monday. The assailant then exited his vehicle and tried to stab another soldier before he was shot.




Pilots, Navy and Air Force rescue fighters from the British Army completed a three-day joint exercise with their Israeli counterparts Wednesday. Israel’s Black Hawk helicopter squadron hosted the Royal Navy rescue fighters who operate on the twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter from the Royal Air Force (RAF). The British squadron which participated in the drill is stationed in nearby Cyprus.,7340,L-4988704,00.html




Detective Sergeant Richard Burgess, of Essex police, who is also training to be an Anglican priest, has been nominated for a bravery award for saving a Jewish man from a beating by Arabs in Jerusalem  while on holiday in Israel last year.




The IDF caught 25 Palestinians carrying knives at checkpoints in the West Bank between April and June this year. Despite the high numbers, as a result of changes to search methods not a single Israeli was harmed and no soldier was forced to open fire on the attacker.  Some checkpoints have a reinforced concrete room with shatter-proof glass, along with a scanning machine capable of detecting and identifying the exact location of metal or sharp objects on the body. The system allows for a comprehensive search without endangering the safety of the soldier who stands in an adjacent room.,7340,L-4988408,00.html




Radiohead lead vocalist Thom Yorke in response to criticism from Ken Loach (a British filmmaker) said “Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government. We’ve played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. As we have in America.” “We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America,” Yorke said. “Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression. I hope that makes it clear Ken.”




Suaad Abd-Elhadi of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed a test that detects Parkinson’s – a degenerative brain disease – both definitively and at an earlier stage.




Growing cooperation between India and Israel has been most beneficial for Rajasthan, with the state receiving the best technical know-how in the agricultural sector and water conservation…With technical assistance from Israel, Rajasthan was among the first states in India to adopt drip irrigation. Crops of olives and dates, which were unfamiliar to Indian farmers, are now gaining acceptance in the state. “There is so much to learn from Israel in the dairy sector, water recycling, horticulture and farming,” said Prabhulal Saini, Agriculture Minister of Rajasthan.




Khaled Rajoub, who tried unsuccessfully to murder Israelis in a vehicular attack on Feb. 2, 2014, told his Israel Police interrogators that his motivation was that his family would receive monthly payments from the PA. “The important thing is that I will die and they will kill me, so that my children will receive a [PA] allowance and live happily.” “Too bad I couldn’t kill anyone, and I am determined. Meaning if you release me now, I will take a car, look for soldiers, run them over, and kill them.”



UNESCO, the UN cultural organization, declared the ancient core of Hebron (which includes the biblical Cave of the Patriarchs) in the West Bank as a Palestinian World Heritage site in danger last Friday…


U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said: “The UNESCO vote on Hebron is tragic on several levels. It represents an affront to history. It undermines the trust that is needed for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to be successful. And it further discredits an already highly questionable UN agency….




Possibly the oldest known depictions of the Biblical story of Jonah have been found at a fifth-century Roman synagogue in Israel’s lower Galilee. In the recently discovered mosaic, Jonah’s legs are shown dangling from the mouth of a large fish,.




Rwandan President Kagame began a two-day visit to Israel on Monday for talks focused on boosting cooperation for the future, but also touching on the two nations’ common experience in the past overcoming the horrors of genocide.




Stephen Daisley:  In announcing Ma’arat HaMachpelah (The Cave of the Patriarchs) to be ‘Palestinian, Unesco is not only robbing Jews of one of their most sacred places but severing their links to Sarah and Abraham, Rebecca and Isaac, Leah and Jacob. It is a wilful desecration by an organisation charged with preserving the past. Where Palestinians’ cruder methods have failed, their champions across the UN estate have perfected a cleaner, more effective, war on Israel. In place of incitement, denial and instead of violence, rejectionism. Without lifting a finger or pointing a gun, Unesco has driven Jews out of their national and religious story. It is an altogether more respectable form of ethnic cleansing.

Sadanand Dhume: Today, many middle-class Indians view Israel not as the neocolonial oppressor of caricature, but as Americans do: A plucky country surrounded by dangerous neighbors that has thrived against the odds. Some are also attracted to Jewish civilization because, like Hinduism, it predates Islam and Christianity…The notion of slowing down India-Israel ties out of deference to either pan-Islamic sentiment worldwide or domestic Muslim sentiment finds few takers


Robert Fulford: If the Palestinians care about peace, why do they pay salaries to terrorists? Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that these actions, whether blowing up a bus or knifing an old man, are part of a sacred historic movement.





Yisroel Katz, Israel’s Intelligence Minister, has released a video, complete with graphics, animation and English-narration, outlining his proposal for an  artificial island  off the coast of the Gaza Strip that will host a port, a cargo terminal, a desalination plant and even an airport. Katz says the island will help connect the blockaded Palestinian enclave to the world, while maintaining Israel’s security


Israel Update: 6 July 2017


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Indian Prime Minister Modi arrived in Israel Tuesday for a three-day visit both countries lauded as a historic affirmation of the ties between the two nations. Mr Modi will not visit the Palestinian Authority, an exceedingly rare move for countries with good ties in the Arab world. New Delhi has explained this anomaly as part of a “desire to de-hyphenate” its relationships with Jerusalem and with Ramallah.


“Israel is a real friend and I have really felt that feeling of kinship. I feel absolutely at home here,” Mr Modi said during a meeting with President Rivlin in Jerusalem. “Your Excellency, you yourself broke protocol and stepped onto the road [at the President’s Residence] to receive me, and this is a mark of respect to the entire Indian nation comprising 1.25 billion people,” he added.


10,000 members of the Indian community in Israel welcomed  Mr Modi at an event in honour of his visit on Wednesday in Tel Aviv.,7340,L-4985411,00.html


Mr Modi met Wednesday with Moshe Holtzberg, now ten years old, whose parents, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, were murdered in the 2008 terror attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai. Moshe, who was 2 years old at the time, survived the attack thanks to his Indian nanny, who came with him to Israel and was granted Israeli citizenship


The two prime ministers attended a demonstration of a mobile desalination unit, which included a “wade in the water”.  &

Round-up of visit:




A joint exercise between Israeli and Palestinian firefighters took place on Tuesday in Jenin. At the end of the exercise, the two teams of firefighters shared a meal, took a joint photo and promised to carry out additional training.




Israel will build a pipeline to treat sewage from Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanun in northern Gaza after the sewage treatment facility there was shut down due to the electricity crisis in Gaza. Currently, the sewage from the Gaza Strip flows through Nahal Hanun, is stored in the sands of Moshav Netiv Ha’asara and pollutes the area and the groundwater. Once every few days, Israeli trucks come and draw the sewage,7340,L-4983174,00.html



The U.S. Navy supercarrier USS George H.W. Bush anchored off the Israeli port of Haifa Saturday on a break from operations against Islamic State. The ship dropped anchor three miles offshore and did not enter the port due to its length. The crew celebrated July 4th onshore in Israel.




The rise in the number of Islamist attacks by “lone wolves” in Europe has led to increased liaison on the issue between a number of foreign security agencies and Israel. A British team, according to Whitehall sources, is due to travel to Israel to look at the methods used there in the near future.



Israeli border police foiled a terror attack Tuesday after finding a bag of knives, stun grenades and firebomb materials during the search of a Palestinian vehicle headed into Jerusalem at a checkpoint outside Bethlehem. The six occupants of the vehicle lacked entry permits and admitted during questioning to planning to carry out a terror attack in Jerusalem.



The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) reported to UNESCO that the Palestinian request to list Hebron’s Old Town and the Cave of the Patriarchs on the “World Heritage in Danger” list as part of the “State of Palestine” has overly focused on Hebron’s Muslim history to the exclusion of the Judeo-Christian heritage. The PA proposal only focused on Hebron from the Mamluk period of 1250 and onward. “This excludes the extremely important time depth of Hebron, a town whose history can be extended back at least a thousand years before the Mamluk period and possibly much longer,” ICOMOS said.


Israel took nine visiting UN ambassadors representing  Australia, Estonia, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Poland, and Togo,  on a tour of the City of David archaeological park in Jerusalem on Sunday in a bid to highlight the Jewish heritage of the holy city following a spate of UN resolutions denying that historic link. They were shown ancient remains believed to be from the Jewish city that stood on the site in biblical times



The IDF respects Muslim soldiers who protect Israel during the long hours of the fasts during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. After sunset each night, the army prepared for them the special celebratory iftar meal.



The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been working with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, to develop fish farms that have restored indigenous species of fish previously devastated by Lake Victoria’s invasive Nile perch.



RyanAir, Monarch, Finnair, SAS and Wizz have signed up to use the new, ultra-modern Ilan and Assaf Ramon Airport which is scheduled to open next spring near Eilat. Once Ramon Airport opens, Eilat and Ovda airports will be closed, and at full capacity, the new airport will be able to accommodate up to 2 million passengers per year.



A mortar shell fired from Syria landed in the northern Golan Heights on Friday.The IDF returned fired at the source. This was the 16th time stray fire from battles in Syria had struck Israeli territory in the preceding week.

The 20th Maccabiah Games, the world’s third largest sporting event, opens Thursday.



Journalist Hunter Stuart recounts how he was exposed to the realities of reporting from Israel and found that his pro-Palestinian views were dramatically changed as a result: I find it odd that once in awhile, foreign news organizations wouldn’t see fit to run an article about Gaza’s wealthy neighbourhoods or million-dollar mosques. But no, they prefer to focus on the tiny minority of the Strip that is still damaged from the war with Israel in 2014 (a war that, by the way, Hamas started) because that is what confirms the narrative …that too many people want to hear.


Colin Rubinstein: …in the early days of UNRWA, it operated inside Israel, and aid recipients included Jewish refugees of the war who had previously lived in areas conquered by Jordan and Egypt. That period didn’t last long. Israel quickly absorbed its internally displaced Arab and Jewish refugees, taking them off UNRWA’s rolls, while UNRWA increasingly entrenched itself in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The organisation that originally served, according to its own estimates, 760,000 needy and stateless Palestinian Arab refugees today considers five million Palestinians to be under its mandate, regardless of means-tested needs or even the fact many of these “refugees” hold citizenship elsewhere, like Jordan. Meanwhile, UNRWA’s mandate to resettle these refugees was removed in 1965, formalising a perpetual state of Palestinian dependency on the organisation.


Tunku Varadarajan: Modi and Netanyahu have formally acknowledged a civilizational bond between two peoples that share many of the same values and all of the same fears.




This video features two of Israel’s medical clowns – one Jewish and one Christian Arab – who are cheering up Syrian patients being treated in Israel.



Israel Update: 16-29.6. 2017


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Iran held major anti-Israel rallies across the country last Friday,(Quds Day) with protesters chanting “Death to Israel” and declaring that destroying the Jewish state is “the Muslim world’s top priority.” A Teheran rally also inaugurated a huge digital countdown display at Tehran Palestine Square, showing that Israel will allegedly cease to exist in 8,411 days.


Israel has reportedly sent messages to Iran via Europe warning it against continuing to expand Hezbollah’s warfighting capabilities against Israel in southern Lebanon.


Maj.-Gen. Herzl Halevi, director of Israeli Military Intelligence, said: “Over the last year Iran has been working to set up independent production facilities for precise weaponry in Lebanon and Yemen. We cannot remain indifferent to this and we don’t.”


Iranian flags fly just across Israel’s northern borders. Iran is reaching a peak of influence and power in the region. Its tentacles stretch across Syria and Iraq and Hizbullah is emboldened.


Iran used a Star of David to mark the target when testing its medium-range Qiam ballistic missile,7340,L-4982419,00.html




Hezbullah has set up a network of observation posts along the Israel-Lebanon border under the guise of a civilian organization called Green Without Borders. Israel’s Ambassador to the UN called on the Security Council to demand that the Lebanese government dismantle the observation posts immediately.,7340,L-4979624,00.html


Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations on Saturday slammed the international body’s force UNIFIL patrolling the border with Lebanon, saying it was ignoring obvious Hezbollah operations in the area.


Israel plans to renovate hundreds of public shelters in northern Israel, especially in communities located up to 40 km. (25 miles) from the Israeli-Lebanese border. Given Hizbullah’s missile arsenal, a future war with Lebanon would mean that the area’s residents could spend days – perhaps even weeks – in shelters.




Sgt. Hadas Malka, 23, was stabbed to death near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on Friday 16/6/ while fighting off her attacker. Nearby troops shot and killed the assailants. Four other officers were injured.


Fatah and the PA immediately and repeatedly condemned Israel’s cutting short Friday’s Jerusalem terror attack (by shooting the terrorists), and honoured the terrorist murderers as Islamic “martyrs.”


The initial BBC headline was: “Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem”. In response to the widespread outcry, the BBC said, “We accept that our original headline did not appropriately reflect the nature of the events and subsequently changed it.” The headline was only changed after strong protests from the Israel Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Ambassador in London.,7340,L-4977323,00.html



For the past two months, the Palestinian Authority has been blocking Gaza patients from leaving the Strip for medical treatment. The PA has delayed issuing payment vouchers for 1,600 patients from Gaza, including patients with cancer and heart disease, and children who need treatment unavailable in Gaza.


Three infants died in Gaza hospitals over the last 24 hours, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said on Tuesday, and warned more were in imminent danger of the same fate if they weren’t given referrals for treatment outside of the Strip.The ministry blamed the Palestinian Authority for the deaths, saying Ramallah has refused to grant permits for the babies to be treated in Israel.



The leaders of Israel, Greece and Cyprus said at a recent summit in Thessaloniki, Greece, that they would speed up planning for a pipeline channelling gas to Europe from the gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said the pipeline would connect the three countries, as well as Italy.



Israel is helping to improve Kenyan agriculture for example the Galana-Kulalu irrigation project in Tana River.

Kenyan government officials and Keren Keyemet L’israel have signed a memorandum of understanding to exchange knowledge and expertise about planting forests in dry climates.




The Israeli Embassy on Wednesday handed out the first 15 of 100 wheelchairs to be donated to children with disabilities in Ho Chi Minh City. Wheelchairs of Hope, together with Israel’s Alyn Pediatric and Adolescence Rehabilitation Hospital, are providing good-quality, lightweight wheelchairs with an attractive design.



The Israeli hi-tech Samsara suitcase is fireproof and comes with LED lights. It will notify the owner via an app if someone else opens the case, or if the luggage is moved away from the owner within a certain preset distance.




The Palestinian Authority is planning to hide its $300 million a year in payments to terrorist prisoners and the families of “martyrs” by continuing to reward terror but in a different framework, according to Palestinian sources. Hassan Asfour, a former PA minister, told the independent Palestinian news website Fatah Voice on June 3, 2017: “Abbas, despite his initial objection, has begun to examine practical options to comply with the American demand.” “Among these…is the option of transferring the prisoners’ and martyrs’ salaries to a ‘social insurance’ body so that it will look as if it is ‘humanitarian and social aid to needy families’ and not ‘monthly salaries to fighter families.'”




Several Israeli hospitals were hit overnight by a large cyberattack, officials said Thursday, adding that the hackers were foiled before they could inflict damage on the computer networks.


A Palestinian woman was detained at a Bethlehem checkpoint while trying to cross a West Bank checkpoint with a knife while on her way to carry out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem.

A knife-wielding Palestinian charged at IDF soldiers near the village of a-Ram, north of Jerusalem, on Tuesday 20 before being shot dead.


The Israel Security Agency has used cybertechnology to prevent more than 2,000 terror attacks since the beginning of 2016


Ten mortar and tank shells fired from Syria landed in Israel on Saturday when there were thousands of Israeli travellers in the area. Accordingly the Israeli response was unusually severe.,7340,L-4980378,00.html

The IDF struck targets belonging to forces loyal to the Assad regime on Sunday in response to the errant fire that hit northern Israel for the second day in a row.  On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will not tolerate any violation of its security on any front.


The Israeli Air Force attacked two Hamas targets on Tuesday in Gaza in response to rocket fire at Israel on Monday.,7340,L-4981379,00.html




Gadi Taub: Abbas is very careful to use the term “two states,” but not “for two peoples.” Because the Jews are not a people in his eyes, the two states that Abbas refers to are a national Palestinian state and a country called Israel, to which “the refugees” eventually “will return.” Two countries will be west of the Jordan: one theirs and the other – also theirs. Abbas knows from experience that it is sufficient to wrap this hostile position in a few terms that have a friendly ring – peace, harmony – so that well-meaning Israelis will hasten to interpret them according to their own wishes, ignoring everything else he says, allowing him to blur the fact that the Palestinians have refused every serious proposal put before them…If we begin to listen to Abbas, methodically and over time, we will discover that he is not preparing himself for any compromise.



Moshe Arens: Gaza: a Failed Palestinian State.

They are living under a blockade, you say. Well, it is hardly a blockade when almost daily, hundreds of trucks bring in produce and material, and electricity is provided from Israel…And this “blockade” is of their own making. Were it not for the rockets that are periodically launched into towns and villages in Israel, whatever restrictions that are imposed by Israel would have been lifted long ago. And had Gaza’s rulers bothered to develop a good relationship with their Egyptian neighbours, they could have arranged for free access through the Egyptian border…A lot of money has poured into Gaza over the years. Much of it has been spent on rockets and digging tunnels into Israel. It’s been doled out to corrupt officials rather than invested in housing, education and the welfare of the population there.


Ben Dror Yemini :  Europe Must Stop Funding Demonization of Israel. The EU would not dare fund such organizations as the Stop the War Coalition in Britain or Code Pink in America. But they do donate to such organizations in Israel. That is a double standard in all its glory. This article wouldn’t have been written had Europe been funding bodies that advance peace and reconciliation.,7340,L-4980476,00.html

VIDEO: Dore Gold: It’s very common to say, “Israel must withdraw to the 1967 borders” – but there are no 1967 borders. The lines Israel inherited from the 1948 war are based on an armistice agreement that states that these are not final borders but cease-fire lines. In 1967 Israel engaged in a war of self-defence and could not be forced to withdraw to the pre-war lines from which it had been attacked.   UN Security Council Resolution 242 of November 1967 did not call for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-war lines. British Ambassador Lord Caradon said at the time: “I know the 1967 line, and it’s a rotten line. You couldn’t have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It’s where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948. It’s got no relation to the needs of the situation.” According to Lord Caradon, an Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice line would not produce a stable diplomatic solution.



Israel Update: 15.6. 2017


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London Mayor Sadiq Khan has sought advice from Israel about how to better combat terrorism after the Manchester and London Bridge attacks. He said in an interview that both his office and Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the head of national counter-terrorism policing, have been in touch with officials in Israel.


A senior Palestinian official donated tens of thousands of shekels to the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa to improve treatment of childhood cancers and Israeli-Palestinian medical cooperation after he himself underwent cancer treatment at the Israeli hospital.

He said:” “Palestinian, Israeli, Syrian and children from other countries receive treatment in the hospital for a variety of serious illnesses and need all the help they can get. I decided to contribute as much as I could, both a humanitarian act and a symbol of solidarity.”,7340,L-4974484,00.html


The BBC’s Tim Samuels spends 24 hours immersed in an extraordinary medical scene – Israeli doctors tending to Syrians who have been smuggled over the border for life-saving treatment into a country Syria is technically still at war with. In the Ziv hospital in the northern Israeli town of Safed, Tim follows two doctors on their rounds as they treat Syrians – both civilians and fighters – who have been seriously wounded in their country’s civil war.


Dave Sharma is the Australian Ambassador to Israel. Following a recent visit to the hospital he wrote: “Ziv Medical Centre remains a picture of multicultural Israel at its best, with hospital staff drawn from the Jewish, Arab and Druze communities” He commented on  “ a noticeable increase in the level of ease of the Syrian patients and their families about seeking treatment in Israel. When I first visited in 2013, the patients were anxious, shy and reluctant to speak with visitors. Visiting this time, there was much less nervousness — the patients were talkative and more willing to share their stories…as more patients have returned to Syria with the stories of how they are treated inside Israel, the sense of ignorance and fear about Israel is dissipating.”



Palestinian officials say there are no plans to stop payments to families of Palestinians killed or wounded carrying out attacks against Israelis, contradicting comments by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. One Palestinian official said, “There have been talks about making the payments in a different way, but not ending them. They could perhaps be labelled differently,” but “they are not going to be stopped.”



Gaza residents had power for only three hours on Tuesday. Hamas could, if it wanted to, pay for enough electricity to significantly improve power supplies. But it prefers to spend millions a month digging attack tunnels into Israel and manufacturing rockets. Estimates say Hamas is spending $130 million a year on preparations for war.



Israel has protested to the United Nations Security Council after a terror tunnel was discovered under two UN-run schools in the Gaza Strip, appealing to the world body to condemn Hamas and prevent its facilities being exploited by the terror group, The tunnel was discovered by UNWRA  workers on June 1st.



The secretary-general of the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates accused Hamas on Monday of attempting to prevent the distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza during the 2014 war. Mohamed Ateeq Al-Falahi said the Red Crescent’s staff was stationed at a UAE field hospital in Gaza when Hamas fighters began provoking Israeli forces by firing rockets from that hospital. This led Israel to attack the hospital as the launch point for the rockets, thus sabotaging the distribution of the humanitarian aid…”This shows (Hamas’) wicked intentions and how they sacrificed us,” said Al-Falahi. “What hurts is that the betrayal came from our own people: Muslims fighting Muslims, who were giving humanitarian aid to Muslims.,7340,L-4975170,00.html


The International Committee of the Red Cross urged the Hamas terrorist organization to clarify the fate of the five missing Israeli nationals it allegedly holds in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is thought to hold three Israelis who entered the Strip illegally as well as the remains of two soldiers killed in fighting in 2014. The group has refused to confirm who it is holding or what their condition is.




Hosting a meal to conclude the 17th day of Ramadan fasting on Monday night,  Israel’s President Rivlin called for cooperation between the state and Arab leadership to uproot violence in Arab towns. The traditional iftar meal is hosted annually at the President’s Residence and he took the opportunity to speak out about burgeoning crime in Arab communities




Israeli author David Grossman was awarded the prestigious Man Booker International Prize award in London on Wednesday night. Fellow Israeli writer Amos Oz had also been short-listed. Grossman said: “It’s a great sign of honour to our language, which is a very insular language, he said. “And yet, since it was a dormant language for something like 1,800 years, it is such a phenomenon that in the last 120 years the Hebrew language has been revitalized, awakened from its long sleep and became a language of every day.”



The Swiss Council of States, the upper house of Parliament, has approved legislation passed by the lower house in March that directs the government to “amend the laws, ordinances and regulations” to prevent funding to NGOs “involved in racist, anti-Semitic or hate incitement actions




An Israeli firm has “cracked the code” on making meat salty and healthy. Israel-based ingredients company Salt of the Earth claims its popular product, Mediterranean Umami, can cut sodium in processed meat by up to a third.




After decades of foot dragging, it appears that a solution for one of the biggest pollution hazards in Israel, the Kidron Valley, has been found, as a combined initiative between Israel and the Palestinian Authority may restore the valley to its natural, non-polluted beauty. The plan is for Israel and the P.A. each to build a pipeline in their own territory—and both pipes will be connected,7340,L-4973638,00.html



Over 200,000 attended the annual Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade including some 30,000 visitors from abroad



Dore Gold: For years, Israeli officials have noted that UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency has provided a breeding ground for the growth of terrorist activity against Israel. In 2014, UNRWA used its schools for storing rockets, and UNRWA building supplies were found to have been used by Hamas for tunnel construction…Successful UN refugee programs overseen by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees have led to a diminution of the refugee problem in different parts of the world. But by UNRWA’s own data, the number of Palestinian refugees (750,000 in 1948) has mushroomed to five million today. Refugee status has continued from generation to generation in perpetuity…With the implementation of the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, 26 refugee camps fell under Palestinian control. Yet despite the advent of Palestinian self-government, not a single Palestinian camp has been closed. The only explanation for this is that the Palestinian leadership wanted to keep their grievance with Israel alive and perpetuate the conflict…If a new peace initiative is to start, it should include at the outset a program to dismantle the refugee camps

Fred Haroun: I am embarrassed that we did not take Israel’s offer right after the (Six Day) war to make peace in exchange for land. I am embarrassed that since then, Egypt’s and Jordan’s realization of the foolishness of war was not matched by the rest of the Arab world, particularly my own country of Lebanon. I am embarrassed that we never made a single credible comprehensive offer of peace to Israel. I am embarrassed that still today, 69 years after our first war against Israel, we still use the Palestinians as pawns in our war of hatred.

(The author is a Canadian, originally Lebanese, who lived in Lebanon until 1984)

Einat Wilf: Just as India and Pakistan and other nations did not need the murder of a third of their people to receive a country at that time, the Jewish people would have obtained its own state at the end of World War II, not because of the Holocaust, but rather because of the dismantling of the British empire as a result of the war…the right of the Jewish people to have a country in its own homeland is a universal right, which is reserved for every people – the right to stand on its own authority and to control its fate.

Note: No Israel Update next week due to family commitment. Returning hopefully on 29 June. 


Israel Update: 8.6. 2017


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Israel has delivered emergency supplies, including power generators that were taken immediately to afflicted areas, to Sri Lankan authorities coping with floods and mudslides that have killed nearly 200 people and displaced more than 80,000.


Sally Becker, famous as the “Angel of Mostar”, has enlisted the help of Israeli experts to treat some of the children of Mosul in need of specialist pediatric care. Israelis are not allowed into Iraq, but Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center is ready to receive wounded children.




Despite Palestinian Authority requests, Israel won’t reduce its supply of electricity to Gaza over unpaid bills. The PA cut its payments for Israeli power to Gaza by 40% due to the PA’s dispute with Hamas.


PA Prime Minister Hamdallah, speaking behind closed-doors, said that IDF restraint helped quell the October 2015 disturbances and had prevented a third Intifada from breaking out in the West Bank during October 2015. He was speaking at a meeting held in Ramallah with Israeli Finance Minister Kahlon, Hamdallah, and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories  Maj. Gen. Mordechai.



The US Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Monday that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected,” the resolution states, adding that “there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3 millennia.”

Commenting on Trump’s visit P.A. official Jibril Rajoub said in an interview shown on Israeli TV: “He went to the Western Wall, which we understand is a holy place to the Jews. In the end, it must remain under Jewish sovereignty. We have no argument about that. This is a Jewish holy place,” His statement ran counter to the Palestinians’ long-running campaign to deny a Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem.

Following strong criticism in the Arab world, within hours Rajoub denied what he had said, reneging on his comments on Jewish sovereignty at the Western Wall..


P.M. Netanyahu returned Monday morning from less than 12 hours in Liberia, stating that his appearance at the 15 member  Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) summit opened numerous doors for Israel in Africa. The first non-African leader to be invited to be a keynote speaker at an ECOWAS summit, Netanyahu met with 10 African leaders.

Under the memorandum of understanding signed this week between the State of Israel and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Israel’s leading solar developer will invest $1 billion over the next four years to advance green energy power projects across the 15 member states of the West African economic community which include Nigeria & Liberia.



With the recent wave of ransomware attacks highlighting the dangers of growing internet connectivity across the world, Japan is looking toward Israel’s military-linked expertise in cybersecurity to protect its networks ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. An agreement with Israel was signed for greater cooperation marking the first cabinet-level deal between the two countries on cybersecurity.


Nasreen Qadri, 30, an Arab Israeli from Haifa, sang at the opening ceremony of the Israel Festival in Jerusalem, marking 50 years of reunification. Qadri said her appearance is designed to convey a message of unity and aspirations for coexistence… On May 1 she participated in the memorial event for fallen Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem.


A Palestinian baby injured in a car accident was breastfed by a Jewish nurse when he refused to take a bottle.(The baby’s mother had been seriously injured) Subsequently she posted a request for help with nursing the baby on an Israeli Facebook page for nursing mothers and received many responses from women willing to come to the hospital to help feed the baby until he is discharged,7340,L-4972646,00.html


UNRWA has apologized for twice using a photo of a Palestinian child living in Syria, this time in its fund-raising campaign for Gaza. The double use of the photograph was brought to light by the Geneva-based group UN Watch.


Palestinians gathered in the Old City of Jerusalem to light a giant lantern on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan. The traditional Ramadan lantern is 10 meters in height, making it the biggest in the holy city.




The excerpts of the stories below, which were published in Hadassah Magazine’s July 1967 issue, describe Elie Wiesel’s visit to the Western Wall after the war, how the Hadassah hospital managed to treat the war’s wounded despite severe staff shortages and the reopening of its Mt. Scopus campus, which had been under Jordanian control since 1948.

A one minute video in which the three paratroopers famously photographed at the Kotel relive their experience.


Yohanah Bar was born in the early 1940s in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion.  He was evacuated with his mother in late 1947. Subsequently the kibbutz was attacked by Jordanian forces and, the kibbutz museum reports that 242 people were killed including his father. Ben Yaakov grew up with  other kibbutz children, who nearly all lost their fathers. Israel’s victory in 1967 marked their chance to return. Kfar Etzion then became the first settlement in the West Bank.




The outbreak of the Six Day War on Monday June 5th 1967 must be seen in the context of Arab incitement and provocation during previous weeks, particularly the preceding week when the Arab streets echoed with bloodcurdling calls to destroy the Jewish state.

Bret Stephens:

In June 1967 Arab leaders declared their intention to annihilate the Jewish state, and the Jews decided they wouldn’t sit still for it. For the crime of self-preservation, Israel remains a nation unforgiven….There would have been no occupation, and no settlements, if Egypt and its allies hadn’t recklessly provoked a war in 1967. Or if the “international community” hadn’t fecklessly abandoned Israel in its desperate hours. Or if Jordan hadn’t foolishly ignored Israel’s warnings to stay out of it. Or if the Arab League hadn’t arrogantly rejected the possibility of peace….

In 1967 Israel was forced into a war against enemies who then begrudged it the peace. Egypt, at least, found its Sadat. The drama of the Six-Day War will close when Palestinians find theirs.


Ben Dror Yemini: There is a mega-narrative that exempts the Arabs from responsibility for the Six-Day War. Yet both the Arab League and the leaders of all neighbouring states announced in an unequivocal manner that their plan for Israel was annihilation…. There was no occupation from 1949 to 1967, but a Palestinian state wasn’t established because the leaders of the Arab world didn’t want another state…,7340,L-4968426,00.html


Meron Medzini: Driven by the threats against Israel & the fiery slogans emanating from the Arab world, increasing numbers of foreign correspondent began to arrive. The overall picture was of a state under siege whose citizens feared for the fate of their families and country in light of the treachery of the world. Others wrote about how no human being in his right mind could fail to support the Israelis; that 22 years after the Holocaust, the (great) powers were once again impotent…What the military censor did not allow to be shared were the preparations for mass temporary graves for tens of thousands of victims in Tel Aviv parks.


Jeff Jaccoby: The Arabs didn’t provoke war with Israel in 1967 to achieve Palestinian independence. An Arab state in Palestine had been proposed by the United Nations 20 years earlier, but the Arab world vehemently rejected the idea. Since 1949, the West Bank and East Jerusalem had been occupied by Jordan; the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian military control Arab rulers could have established a Palestinian state in those territories whenever they chose to do so. But Palestinian statehood was of no interest to them…There was, to be sure, a “Palestinian” movement. In Cairo, in 1964, the Arab League had created the Palestine Liberation Organization…But the PLO’s purpose was not to win Palestinian independence; it was to assist the Arab bloc in eliminating Israel and the Jews from the Middle East…There was no ambiguity about the Arab leaders’ annihilationist goals.

Dr Max Singer: Continued Israeli occupation is one of the Palestinians’ best weapons against Israel, and they will not give it up while their war to eliminate Israel continues…. The Palestinians have a voice in what happens. The choice they have made is to force Israel to “occupy” them, because they want to keep up the struggle to destroy Israel.  Being a victim, an “occupied people,” improves their diplomatic position, causes Israel pain, and provokes internal conflict within Israel. These effects are bad for Israel and good for the Palestinians. Indeed, the more harmful they are for Israel, the more desirable they are for the Palestinian


Israel Update: 1.6. 2017

(22.25 pm)

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Israeli trauma experts have landed in Manchester to treat victims and to train medical staff. As at 29 May, 90 English mental health professionals have undergone training from the Israeli staff.




Following a meeting Wednesday between Israel’s Finance Minister the and the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) Prime Minister, Israel has reportedly agreed to give the P.A. expanded powers in parts of the West Bank that were until now solely under Israeli control as part of a package of economic incentives.


Israel announced last Friday that restrictions on Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza  will be eased during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, including easier access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the issue of more travel permits and  more people to be allowed to fly abroad from Ben Gurion airport.


Israeli company SodaStream has rehired 74 Palestinian employees following renewed work permits. “We are delighted to welcome back our 74 devoted Palestinian employees, who are able to join their 1,500 friends at our Rahat facility in the Negev,” said the Sodastream CEO.




The Czech Parliament approved on Wednesday 24 May (Jerusalem Day) the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The parliament also condemned recent UNESCO decisions that do not recognize the rights of Jews to Jerusalem and called on the government to stop payments to UNESCO.,7340,L-4967031,00.html


The Danish foreign minister has reportedly ordered a review of his government’s donations to P.A. non-governmental organizations and will not approve any new funding until the probe is completed.




From Palestinian Media Watch:  The names that the Palestinian Authority has chosen for its schools encourage children to see terrorists as personal role models and heroes.The PA Ministry of Education has named at least 28 schools after terrorists and at least 3 schools after Nazi collaborators.


The Norwegian Foreign Minister condemned the P.A. for naming a women’s centre in the West Bank town of Burqa, that his country partially funded, after female terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who took part in the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre when Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 38 Israeli civilians including 13 children. He said:” Norway will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists in this way. We will not accept the use of Norwegian aid funding for such purposes,” adding. “We have asked for the logo of the Norwegian representation office to be removed from the building immediately, and for the funding that has been allocated to the centre to be repaid.”


Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the UN has stopped supporting a West Bank community centre named for Dalal Mughrabi. He said: “The glorification of terrorism, or the perpetrators of heinous terrorist acts, is unacceptable under any circumstance,”


The West Bank town of Burqa vowed that it would not rename a women’s centre named after a female Palestinian terrorist, after the facility’s international backers pulled their support and lambasted the Palestinians for glorifying terrorism.




Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon announced his election as a vice president of the U.N. General Assembly as a representative of the Western European and Others (WEOG) group. He will chair General Assembly meetings when the president is absent, have a say in setting the agenda and oversee “the rules and decorum during the sessions,” There are 21 vice presidents of the General Assembly.




The Israeli organization Just Beyond Our Border raised over NIS 2 million (approx.  £440,000) in crowd funding campaigns to buy medical supplies for children suffering in Syria’s civil war; ‘This is our time to make a statement that the Syrian people are not our enemies. They’re our neighbours, and as people we need to take care of them,’ says one member.,7340,L-4964243,00.html



P.A. President Abbas has reportedly appointed a convicted Israeli Arab terrorist to the governing body of his Fatah party. The terrorist with his cousin kidnapped and murdered IDF soldier Avraham Bromberg on November 26, 1980. He is serving a 40-year sentence.


The P.A. has paid out some NIS 4 billion — or $1.12 billion — over the past four years to terrorists and their families, a former director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and ex-head of the army’s intelligence and research division told a top Knesset panel on Monday.


Rawabi is making progress even though the PA has paid nothing toward it. For the Palestinian city of the future to achieve its destiny, Rawabi needs to attract the right residents, and now it has a vital component — a $450 million business and shopping centre replete with the world’s top brands.




A Border Police officer was stabbed in Netanya on Tuesday 23 May in what police said was likely a terror attack. He shot his Palestinian attacker.

A civilian at the scene was lightly injured from glass shards.,7340,L-4966256,00.html


A Palestinian woman stabbed an IDF soldier, lightly injuring him, as he guarded the gate of a northern West Bank settlement on Thursday morning. Other soldiers on the scene shot the assailant wounding her.


A rocket from the Sinai Peninsula was fired toward Israel on Tuesday 23 May, on the second day of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to the country. The rocket landed in Israel, but did not cause any damage or casualties.



A Palestinian man attempted to stab Israeli border police at a guard post in the town of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, police said Monday 22 May. The attacker was killed.


A Palestinian was arrested Wednesday 24 May at a checkpoint in the West Bank carrying two pipe bombs.




Lebanese authorities banned the new “Wonder Woman” movie hours before it was due to premiere in the capital and following a campaign against its star, Israeli actress Gal Gadot.




An angry Trump reportedly yelled at Abbas during their talks last Tuesday for his alleged direct involvement in incitement against Israel:

“You tricked me in DC! You talked there about your commitment to peace, but the Israelis showed me your involvement in incitement [against Israel],” Trump is said to have shouted at a shocked Abbas.

The TV report said the outburst was followed by several minutes of shocked silence from the Palestinians, and that the meeting was very tense before the two sides managed to get back on track.


Following insistent Palestinian denials that US President Donald Trump shouted at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas about Palestinian incitement against Israel during their meeting last week, Abbas has conceded — in Arabic — that the story is true, according to a report by the London-based Qatari news site al-Araby al-Jadid.


During his visit to Yad Vashem, President Trump took a few minutes to meet and chat to a young Israeli girl who has been fighting cancer for 7 years and whose dream is to meet presidents and other world leaders.



Yair Lapid (Chairman of Yesh Atid party): In May 1980, four Palestinian terrorists shot and killed six unarmed Israeli civilians and injured 20 more outside Beit Hadassah in Hebron in the West Bank. Two of the victims were American citizens. One was a decorated Vietnam veteran. This week, there were local elections in the Palestinian Authority. The new Fatah mayor of Hebron was Tayseer Abu Sneineh, one of the four terrorists who carried out the attack.

Einat Wilf: In 2000 and 2008, the Arab Palestinians refused to say “yes” to Israeli proposals that would have ended the military occupation of the West Bank. For most Israelis, the repeated Palestinian failures to say “yes” reinforced the view that more than they wanted a state for themselves, they wanted to deny a state to the Jewish people.

It is necessary to demonstrate to the Muslim-Arab world that their view of history is wrong, and that rather than constituting a second Crusader state, Israel is the sovereign state of an indigenous people who have come home.


Praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem


No Israel Update later this week as I’ll be away; however,  these items commemorate the Yom Yerushalayim Jubilee in the Hebrew calendar, 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967:


Chief Rabbi Mirvis sent this video message for Yom Yerushalyim:

“Jerusalem is the centre of our spiritual existence, a symbol of our people” (2 minutes 15 secs)


A video message from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks:

“As we approach Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) on the 23rd / 24th May, and the 50th anniversary of the reunification of our beloved city, here are a few thoughts about what Jerusalem means to me.”

VIDEO: 7 mins 15 secs.


HISTORICAL CONTEXT – some salient points:

  1. Since 1004 BCE, when King David established Jerusalem as the capital of his kingdom, there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem, the holiest city in Judaism.
  1. Jews have constituted the largest ethnic group in Jerusalem since 1820.




  1. During the 19 years when Jordan occupied eastern Jerusalem and its holy sites (1948-1967), Jerusalem was divided. Jews were expelled from eastern Jerusalem and barred from visiting their holy places. Fifty-eight synagogues—some hundreds of years old—were destroyed, their contents looted and desecrated. Some Jewish religious sites were turned into chicken coops or animal stalls. The Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, where Jews had been burying their dead for over 2500 years, was ransacked; graves were desecrated; thousands of tombstones were smashed and used as building material, paving stones or for latrines in Arab Legion army camps.


  1. In 1950, Jordan illegally annexed the territories it had captured in the 1948 war—eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank.


  1. In direct contravention of the 1949 armistice agreements, Jews were denied access to the Western Wall and all religious sites in eastern Jerusalem. The armistice lines were sealed as Jordanian snipers would perch on the walls of the Old City and shoot at Israelis across the lines.




  1. During the 1967 war, Israel appealed to Jordan to stay out of the war, but despite this appeal, Jordanian forces fired artillery barrages from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Although Israeli forces did not respond initially, not wanting to open up a Jordanian front in the war, Jordan continued to attack and occupied UN headquarters in Jerusalem. Israeli forces fought back and within two days managed to repulse the Jordanian forces and retake eastern Jerusalem
  1. In a statement at the Western Wall, Minister of Defence Moshe Dayan indicated Israel’s peaceful intent and pledged to preserve religious freedom for all faiths in Jerusalem:

“To our Arab neighbours we extend, especially at this hour, the hand of peace. To members of the other religions, Christians and Muslims, I hereby promise faithfully that their full freedom and all their religious rights will be preserved. We did not come to Jerusalem to conquer the Holy Places of others.”

 8. Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol met with the spiritual leaders of different faiths in his office and issued a declaration of peace, assuring that all holy sites would be protected and that all faiths would be free to worship at their holy sites in Jerusalem. He declared his intention to give the spiritual leaders of the various religions internal management of their own Holy Sites.

  1. The religious freedoms enjoyed by Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the reunified Jerusalem had been unheard of during Jordanian occupation of the city, prompting even a former Jordanian ambassador to the United Nations, Adnan Abu Odeh, to acknowledge that “the situation in Jerusalem prior to 1967 [under Jordanian rule] was one of … religious exclusion” whereas post-1967, Israel seeks “to reach a point of religious inclusion …”

These religious freedoms continue to this day.




Daniel Pipes:  Nor were Jordan’s rulers alone in ignoring Jerusalem; the city virtually disappeared from the Arab diplomatic map. Malcolm Kerr’s well-known study on inter-Arab relations during this period (The Arab Cold War) appears not once to mention the city. No foreign Arab leader came to Jerusalem during the nineteen years when Jordan controlled East Jerusalem, and King Hussein (r. 1952-99) himself only rarely visited….Perhaps most remarkable is that the PLO’s founding document, the Palestinian National Covenant of 1964, does not once mention Jerusalem or even allude to it.



According to a forthcoming statistical abstract from the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research (formerly the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies), the Jewish population of Jerusalem has grown by 174% in the last 50 years, while the Arab population grew at twice that rate – 374% – in the same period.

According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem’s population has grown from just 84,000 in 1948 to 883,000 in 2016. Around 10 percent of Israel’s population resides in Jerusalem



The photograph of three paratroopers standing in silent awe in front of the recaptured Western Wall after the battle for Jerusalem in 1967 has become the defining image of one of the most significant moments in Israel’s history.With the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War approaching, Zion Karasenti, Haim Oshri, and Dr. Itizik Yifat returned to the Old City recently to remember the moment. They described how they, as 20-something reserve duty soldiers, inadvertently became the symbol of a nation fulfilling a 2,000 year old dream.


Israel Update: 18 May 2017

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Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., and Israeli intelligence officials have been conducting talks since Tuesday with White House and U.S. intelligence operatives to determine if intelligence supplied by Israel to the U.S. regarding a planned ISIS attack was leaked by President Trump at his meeting last week with the Russian Foreign Minister. An Israeli official said that Israel’s assessment is that even if Trump passed on Israeli intelligence, no one is in danger, nor is the incident expected to have any significant influence on Israeli-American intelligence cooperation.




Opposition Zionist Union party leaders including Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, together with five other Knesset members, visited the settlement blocs of Ma’ale Adumim and Gush Etzion on Thursday.”Ma’ale Adumim was built by Yitzhak Rabin in his first term as prime minister,” Herzog said: “A month before Rabin’s assassination, he promised at the Knesset that Ma’ale Adumim will be part of Israel in any agreement…”


Yair Lapid, chairman of the Israeli opposition Yesh Atid Party, said Sunday, “Israel has been looking for an opportunity to separate from the Palestinians for years and years now. We have offered three times to the Palestinians more than 90% of the territories in order for them to build a country of their own, and three times they refused…Take, for example, the disengagement in 2005. We left Gaza, we dismantled the settlements, the army left, we even left them with 3,000 greenhouses for them to build an economy for themselves, and instead of doing so, they fired 15,000 missiles on our children and women and elderly.” “The question is not how you draw the map. The question is the seriousness of the players involved… We’ve been serious for many, many years now, and the Palestinians were playing games.”




A Jordanian citizen stabbed an Israeli police officer in the neck and head in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday and was shot dead by the policeman


Jordan on Saturday said an Israeli policeman’s shooting and killing of a Jordanian assailant as he stabbed him repeatedly was “a heinous crime,” … The Israeli government called the Jordanian reaction “outrageous,” saying it appeared to be backing the “terror attack” in Jerusalem. Security camera footage showed the stabbing attack.


Israeli President Rivlin met with a delegation of Jordanian sheikhs representing different tribes across Jordanian society who were in Israel for a five-day visit to meet people from different parts of Israeli society and strengthen ties.



Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories (COGAT) announced that Palestinian tour groups coming to visit Israel must be accompanied by an Israeli security representative. The move came in response to a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv in April, by a Palestinian who had entered the country on a permit issued at the request of Natural Peace Tours, a tourism service for Palestinians.


A Fatah member of the PA parliament was caught on camera throwing rocks at IDF soldiers near Ramallah last weekend.

About 200 Palestinians participated in a protest-turned-riot, blocking roads and throwing rocks at passing Israeli vehicles when a settler—who claimed that his life was in mortal danger and that he shot into the air—opened fire killing a rioter and injuring a news photographer;  the shooter’s wife said that the  mob encircled their vehicle and tried to drag them out.,7340,L-4963987,00.html




The IDF broke up a Palestinian cell that made pipe bombs from fireworks and used them in several attacks in the Tulkarem area of the West Bank.

The Israel Security Agency announced Tuesday the arrest of a terror cell associated with the banned northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel that was planning a shooting attack against IDF soldiers in southern Israel. The cell members had purchased a Carlo Gustav submachine gun and electronic transmitters to set off improvised explosive devices.



Former Israel Prison Service Commissioner Lt.-Gen. (res.) Orit Adato said in an interview that it was simply not true that Palestinian security prisoners suffer inhumane conditions saying that they were supplied  ” with all their needs”…. She pointed to Yahya Sinwar, the hard-line Hamas leader in Gaza, who, she said, is alive today only because of brain surgery he received while imprisoned in Israel.




All 50 U.S. governors have signed a pledge to reject the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. At least 16 states have passed legislation banning state entities from investing in businesses that boycott Israel.



President Rivlin and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked installed Hana Mansour Khatib the first ever female judge, or qadi, for Israel’s Sharia Court system on Monday in Jerusalem, along with three other regional qadis




Israel’s ambassador to Nigeria, Guy Feldman, cancelled the embassy’s Independence Day reception and with the money saved set up a week-long soccer league for 225 Nigerian refugee children who were displaced by the threat from Boko Haram terrorists.,7340,L-4961987,00.html




Israel in recent years has become an unlikely centre for automotive innovation as it has no car manufacturing to speak of. Over 200 local companies working in transportation technology will be at the EcoMotion Conference in Jaffa. Among them, Tel Aviv-based StoreDot claims to be developing an electric vehicle battery that can be recharged in five minutes – compared to the hours that are typically required today. The company says a single charge would run a car for about 480 kilometers (300 miles) — farther than almost any electric vehicle now on the market and nearly as much as a gasoline-powered car.




Israeli researchers and a cosmetician say they have made a breakthrough in fighting wrinkles and sagging skin by finding a way to insert a water-absorbing acid into deep layers of skin without the need for injections. The product, called Prophecy, will start marketing in Israel in the next two weeks and globally in September



Re-live the dramatic events of the Six-Day War (June 5-10, 1967) between Israel and the surrounding Arab countries through the lens of 12 short videos released over four weeks.



AVI MAYER: The long history of Arab rejectionism and the consistent refusal to countenance the notion that Jews might have national rights in their homeland have served only to perpetuate a conflict that should have ended eighty years ago. Likewise, the cultivation of a fantasy of “return” to homes that no longer exist is an act of cruelty. That a unique definition of refugeedom is applied to Palestinians, enabling refugee status to pass from one generation to the next in perpetuity, is scandalous. That the great grandchildren of Palestinian refugees remain trapped in refugee camps in Lebanon, denied citizenship and barred from seeking employment in a vast range of fields, is outrageous. These are all part of what one UN official called an Arab desire to “keep [the Palestinian refugee] as an open sore [and] as a weapon against Israel.


Gerald Steinberg: The combination of six decades of war and terror, Iran’s shrill threats of annihilation, and discriminatory boycott campaigns reinforce the dismal lessons of Jewish history for Israel. For most Israelis, the main obstacles to peace include terror and the Palestinian rejection of Jewish historical claims and the right to sovereign equality, independent of border concerns. The “average Israeli” pays close attention to the widely heard chant “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which leaves no place for the Jews. But the problem is more than words: the rhetoric is accompanied by rocket attacks from Gaza and terror from the West Bank.
Israelis have also not forgotten the mass terrorism that occurred in the wake of the 1993 Oslo agreements that created the Palestinian Authority. Viewing the massive violence in Syria and Iraq, the presence of ISIS in Sinai, and the strengthening of the Iran-Hizbullah regional alliance, Israelis – including those who support a two-state solution in theory – perceive withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza as a dangerous fantasy.
Israeli policies with respect to Palestinians and the West Bank will continue to be framed by history and perceptions of vulnerability. This will only change when the Palestinian side – and the wider region – address them directly.


Israel Update: 11 May 2017

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The Lancet, a leading UK medical journal, has published a series of papers outlining Israel’s achievements in health and health care.


The May 8th edition of The Lancet features ten articles  which range from showcasing Israeli lifesaving medical devices and detailing groundbreaking genetic research among the country’s diverse population to highlighting Israeli efforts to treat Syrian refugees injured in the civil war.


Israel’s public healthcare system is a model of genuine co-operation between Arabs and Jews. Arabs fulfill 12.4% of jobs in the government healthcare system, 42% of nursing students are Arab, and 38% of druggists are Arab. In 2015, 16% of all medical students were Arab; at the Technion medical school, Arabs were 38% of students and at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 31%. Prof. Ahmed Eid, head of general surgery at Hadassah Mt. Scopus Hospital was one of this year’s Independence Day torch lighters



Israeli President Rivlin met the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in Jerusalem on Monday.  Warmly welcoming him, Rivlin said, “Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian community is flourishing.”…    Referring to recent comments made by the president of Turkey, Rivlin noted, “For the last 150 years there has been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Even under the Ottoman Empire there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Under Israeli sovereignty, we continue to build Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people…and we will continue to ensure freedom of religion for all faiths.”,7340,L-4959666,00.html



As well as basic rights to receive medical treatment and basic living conditions (such as hot water, showers and sanitation), prisoners receive education and regular visits from the Red Cross. They can receive newspapers, send and receive letters and read and keep their own books. They can buy goods from the prison’s canteen, which is run by the inmates. Relatives can deposit money for prisoners. Prisoners receive family visitations, television watching hours and electrical appliances, such as kettles and mosquito killers. Many security prisoners receive monthly salaries, which can sometimes reach up to 12,000 NIS a month, from the P.A. for carrying out their (frequently) murderous crimes.


The Israel Prison Service released a video on Sunday that appears to show Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti (serving five life sentences for terrorism convictions) eating in his prison cell on two occasions while supposedly leading a hunger strike.


A senior PLO official said “whoever you ask will tell you on record that the (Barghouti) video is fake, but behind closed doors people are admitting that it’s authentic. We were incredibly angry when we saw the recordings.”,7340,L-4959571,00.html


A Palestinian armed with a knife ran screaming toward Israeli Border Police forces on Thursday (4 May) near the Tomb of Patriarchs in Hebron and was shot and taken to hospital for treatment.

Security forces arrested three Palestinians suspected to have been behind 10 shootings last month, and found an M-16 assault rifle used in the attacks hidden inside a secret compartment in a child’s Dora the Explorer bed. “That’s the last place that we as a military want to go into and search,” a senior intelligence officer said.Security forces also found two handguns,



Two Israeli men with serious mental health conditions who crossed separately from Israel into Gaza in 2014 and 2015, neither of whom has been heard from since, have apparently been held by Hamas, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. Hamas refers to the men as soldiers, but an HRW investigation indicates that the men were not combatants or affiliated with the Israeli government when they entered Gaza.


A senior Hamas leader said Wednesday that a document published by them last week was not a substitute for its founding charter, which advocates Israel’s destruction. “The pledge Hamas made before God was to liberate all of Palestine,” he said. “The charter is the core of [Hamas’] position.



In April, the Palestinian Authority stopped paying Gaza’s electricity bill. This means sewage treatment plants are receiving 3-4 hours of electricity a day, not enough to process Gaza’s sewage. Gaza municipalities are now dumping 70,000 cubic meters of untreated sewage into the Mediterranean daily and the pollution has started reaching Egypt and Israel.




“Moona, a Space for Change,” is a nonprofit technology incubator in the Galilee that aims to build bridges between Israeli Jews and Arab youth through space technologies.



A fleet of high-powered “spy drones” have been bought by the Irish Army from an Israeli defence company for 1.9M euros. The Defence Forces stress the primary objective is to provide the “greatest possible force protection” to Irish troops. They also emphasize that they tendered internationally to get the best possible deal.


Dublin City councillors have voted to fly the Palestinian flag over City Hall for one month. An alternative proposal, to fly both the Palestinian flag and Israeli flag for one week, was voted down. Lord Mayor Brendan Carr chose to abstain from the final vote, explaining that he met with young Palestinians and Israelis who said they did not want Irish people taking sides as they tried to establish peace.





U.S. Air Force Gen. (ret.) Gary North, vice president for customer requirements at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said Thursday in Tel Aviv, “There’s a part of Israel in every F-35 that’s ever been built.”
Lockheed has already contracted more than $1 billion worth of structures, subsystems, and components with Israeli industry.





The Condor, developed by two Israeli defence companies, is a drone that can operate in extreme weather conditions, cover an area of 5-8 kilometers, and provide information about the precise location of lost hikers or wanted terrorists, even if they are hiding inside buildings or tunnels…In Peru a local rescue company used the Condor to locate and rescue a missing hiker.



Bassem Eid (A Palestinian activist): The BDS movement, which claims to be our friend, is determined to blame Israel for all our problems, and refuses to acknowledge the true issues. Instead, they are engaged in a self-serving narrative aimed at making them look like heroes who are supposedly helping the Palestinians. If they truly were our friends, they would open their eyes and help resolve the real issues….If so-called pro-Palestinian activists truly want to help the Palestinians, then they should demand freedom, human rights, democracy, and justice for the Palestinians. They should demand that the incitement of Palestinians stop. They should assist Israel in creating jobs in the West Bank for Palestinians. They should assist Palestinians in developing an economy while ensuring that the money is not used to enrich the terrorists’ rule or to augment the terrorists’ arsenal. They should encourage Palestinians to live in peace with Jews.


Bassam Tawil: PA President Mahmoud Abbas may soon be known for his sense of humour, after telling President Trump, “We are raising our youth…on a culture of peace.” The Oslo Accords, signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, gave the Palestinians media outlets, including television and radio stations, which were then used to amplify hatred against Israel and Jews on a daily basis… Abbas continues to use non-existent threats to the al-Aqsa Mosque to incite Palestinian youths against Israel. He talks about “herds of settlers storming al-Aqsa Mosque” – in reality, peaceful routine visits by Jews to the Temple Mount. In September 2015, Abbas stated that he “welcomed every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem,” and soon after, Palestinians began waging a campaign of knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis. Is this the “culture of peace” to which Abbas is referring?

Kate Havard, &Grant Rumley:Hamas’s outgoing political leader Khaled Meshaal recently announced the release of a new political document. Contrary to reports, this new document neither replaces the charter nor abrogates the group’s founding document. While it is a departure from the faction’s 1988 manifesto, it is not a sign of moderation. Rather, it is an effort to ease international isolation and appeal to the rival Fatah party’s base of support.


An Israeli veterans’ organization has released a hard-hitting new video attacking “Breaking the Silence” – an NGO that publishes what it says are the anonymous testimonies of Israeli soldiers who participated in “abuses against Palestinians”. Soldiers who served with Dean Issacharoff of “Breaking the Silence” saw a video featuring him making an outrageous claim and had to respond. Critics say that Issacharoff’s story besmirches the IDF. His organisation regularly tells stories that are distorted, missing vital details, or quite simply are shocking lies. Far from working to bring about peace, these stories create a narrative that blames Israel while totally exonerating the Palestinians.

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