Israel Update: 10 November 2016
by Hazel Green
NOTE: In view of inconsistencies in the President-elect’s statements during the US election campaign, this update will not include speculative items relating to future US-Israel relations.
CO-OPERATION WITH ARAB NEIGHBOURS
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has made a secret visit to Dubai in the UAE to attend a UN development conference in his capacity as chairman of the UN’s Legal Committee, an appointment he received in June. The move is the latest indication of Israel’s effort to inch closer to its Arab neighbours.
Economic ties with Israel have begun to deepen under Egyptian President al-Sisi. In April, for the first time in ten years, an Israeli delegation traveled to Egypt to discuss ways of enhancing economic cooperation. More than 700 companies employing 280,000 workers operate in Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZs), whose products are exported to U.S. markets.
Israel has indicted a Gazan fisherman who was charged with communicating with Hamas and smuggling weapons, explosives, and diving equipment from Egypt to Hamas in Gaza. The prosecution noted in the indictment that the Egyptian army arrested al-Saidi and handed him over to the Israeli army.
The Israeli news site Walla quoted PA officials in Hebron as saying that Palestinian security services “passed precise information” to Israel about an explosive device placed near an Israeli army military post in Hebron. The Jerusalem Post added that the Palestinian source identified the attacker as a resident of Kalkilya, leading to his detention before he could carry out the attack. The device was found on Friday and neutralized by Israeli forces.
Seven leading Moroccan journalists were recently hosted in Israel by the foreign ministry. One of the journalists said that that showing any kind of support for Israel or even visiting the country can result in ostracization and even death threats: ‘I was afraid of coming…but I wanted to see the Israel that Arab media doesn’t show.’ she added
A Palestinian assailant, armed with a screwdriver, attempted to carry out a stabbing attack on an Israeli soldier on Wednesday near Nablus. Troops shot the attacker, who received first aid at the scene.
A Palestinian terrorist who attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at a bus stop at the entrance to Ofra in the West Bank last Thursday (3 Nov) was shot and killed by IDF soldiers. The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the assailant as Ma’an Nasser Adin, 23.
An IDF soldier was lightly wounded in his knee last Thursday night (3 Nov) in a shooting attack at a checkpoint near Tulkarem Earlier Thursday, there was a drive-by shooting at the guard post outside of Ofra. Nobody was injured.
The Head of the Coordination for (Israeli) Government Activities in the Territories ( has warned the international community that the water infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza will collapse because the Palestinian Authority refuses to cooperate with Israel
The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) rejected a bid by the Palestinian government to join the body on Tuesday after Israel lobbied against the move. The Palestinians’ application was opposed by 62 countries.
In the wake of the PA claim to the Dead Sea Scrolls, hundreds of Twitter users posted pictures of famous historical figures, pieces of art and landmarks with a satirical description of their Palestinian roots. Among the most popular tweets: a picture of William al Sheik-Speare, a famous Palestinian writer.
UN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE
More than 200 people protested outside parliament in Rabat against the Israeli flag being hoisted at the COP22 conference that opened Monday. Morocco’s Foreign Minister responded that “UN meetings around the world welcome all nations” and that the fight against climate change “requires all governments to commit” and denouncing “political exploitation” of the climate talks running to November 18.
THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The U.N. General Assembly adopted 10 resolutions singling out Israel on Tuesday, with only 4 expected to be adopted later this week for the entire rest of the world combined, with one each on Syria, Iran, North Korea and Crimea. Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based non-governmental watchdog organization said:“The U.N.’s assault on Israel today with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal… Even as Syrian president Bashar Assad is preparing for the final massacre of his own people in Aleppo, the U.N. adopted a resolution — drafted and co-sponsored by Syria — which falsely condemns Israel for ‘repressive measures’ against Syrian citizens on the Golan Heights. It’s obscene”
The official plane of the President of France has been upgraded and equipped with an Israeli-made anti-missile defense system. Israeli airline El Al has already equipped its planes with the system. The system, made by Elbit, involves smart thermal cameras that identify an incoming missile and then target the missile with a laser beam that deflects it from the plane.
An Israeli startup is making biodegradable diapers and female hygiene products out of jellyfish. Shachar Richter, a material scientist at Tel Aviv University who established Cine’al, found that the flesh of jellyfish could absorb liquid in large quantities. Antibacterial nanoparticles were added to remove the sting.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
The German corporation Daimler, which owns Mercedes Benz, announced that it will open a new R&D center in Tel Aviv focussing on “car mobility and information services, in addition to the development and testing of various projects and user interfaces.” General Motors and Renault already have R&D centres in Israel.
COMMENT & OPINION
Evelyn Gordon:Nothing casts more doubt on the wisdom of the West’s drive for Palestinian statehood than the P.A.’s treatment of the West Bank refugee camps over its 22 years of existence. The case for Palestinian statehood makes obvious sense in the abstract: Palestinians need a state where they can promote their people’s welfare, just as Jews need a state where they can promote their people’s welfare. It’s not that Israel did nothing for the Palestinians during its decades of governing the territories. Palestinian life expectancy jumped by 50% under Israeli rule, infant mortality plummeted by more than two-thirds, literacy rates and living standards skyrocketed. Indeed, every hospital and university in the West Bank was built by Israel, as were most of those in Gaza. Israel left the refugee camps intact mainly because its one attempt to provide refugees with better housing back in the 1970s elicited such brutal opposition from the PLO – which threatened to kill refugees who accepted the offer – that it backed down. But the refugee camps are precisely the kind of open sore that Palestinian statehood is theoretically supposed to solve. More than two decades after the PA’s establishment, schooling, healthcare and welfare allowances in the refugee camps are still funded wholly by UNRWA. Or, to be more precise, by the Western countries that fund most of UNRWA’s budget. Nor has the PA moved a single refugee into better housing. And this isn’t because Israel somehow prevented it from doing so. It’s because the PA has no interest in doing so. The PA doesn’t see the refugees as citizens to be served, but as a weapon aimed at Israel. They are kept in miserable conditions for the express purpose of creating sympathy for the Palestinian demand that they all be relocated to Israel. The West should start by demanding that the PA finally dismantle those refugee camps and take the responsibility for their residents off UNRWA’s hands.
J.Post Editorial: Almost half a century since Israel reunited its divided capital city – divided, like Berlin once was, by war – the media ignorantly parrot the Palestinian narrative that claims east Jerusalem as its future capital, as if the section of the city that Jordan occupied for 19 years had been an historic entity. Consistent with this warped view, the foreign media insistently refer to Jews living in the heart of their historic capital as “settlers.” They capitalize the term “East Jerusalem” as if it were a historical fact, but Gilo is on the other side of town, built on land purchased by Dov Joseph for the Jewish National Fund during the 1930s. Gilo was once indeed occupied territory: it was Jordanian-occupied Israeli territory from 1949 to 1967, after which its Israeli sovereignty was restored. Australia’s attorney-general, George Brandis, told the Senate last week that Australia will no longer refer to east Jerusalem as “occupied” territory: “The description of east Jerusalem as “Occupied East Jerusalem” is a term freighted with pejorative implications, which is neither appropriate nor useful.”
Col.Richard Kemp: Despite Britain sometimes sinking into moral weakness over its subsequent failure to support the state that it incubated, the country can be intensely proud that Britain alone embraced Zionism in 1917.
Dr Eran Lerman: The attempt to impose a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is…a mistake. Even the whiff of coercion deludes the Palestinian leadership and feeds their hope that they can avoid the hard decisions that are necessary for compromise. It also stiffens resistance within Israel to concessions, undermines the legitimacy of any negotiated outcome, and makes implementation all but impossible… The idea that an elected Israeli government should impose great pain on its own people for no reward and under foreign pressure is a fantasy.