Israel Update: 18 January 2018
ANOTHER GAZA TUNNEL DESTROYED
Israeli planes on Saturday night destroyed an attack tunnel reaching 180 metres into Israeli territory from Gaza which also extended into Egyptian territory…This is the fourth tunnel destroyed by Israel in recent months.
The attack tunnel ran underneath the Kerem Shalom Gaza crossing, where most of the humanitarian aid, food and fuel enter the Gaza Strip, as well as below major gas and diesel pipelines, and an underground explosion would have caused mass casualties among the hundreds of people who work there daily.
A rocket fired at Israel from Gaza fell short striking a Gazan home and wounding three people, Arab media reported Monday.
ISRAEL EXTENDS MEDICAL HELP TO HER NEIGHBOURS
Yousef Rabaya from Jenin was born with cerebral palsy. His curved back caused much pain and he couldn’t stand. After a U.S. operation failed, surgeons at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Centre performed reconstruction surgery and now Yousef can walk again.
Surgeons at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Centre successfully transplanted a kidney into a 13-year-old Gazan boy suffering from renal failure. The donor was his brother who was flown in via Jordan from Algeria where he was studying. Since the beginning of pediatric kidney transplants at Rambam in 2014, a total of 32 transplants have been performed, of which one-third have been performed on children from the Palestinian Authority and Jordan.
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PAYMENTS TO TERRORISTS
Kay Wilson, a British woman who was stabbed 13 times and left for dead by Palestinian terrorists, discovered that the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) is using British taxpayers’ money to pay her imprisoned attackers, who also killed her American friend Kristine Luken. Kay additionally sustained 30 broken bones. The two attackers were jailed but belonged to a group allied to Fatah which runs the P.A., which has since used aid money to pay them while they sit in jail. Wilson has written to House of Commons International Development Committee Chairman Stephen Twigg asking for an investigation of the P.A.’s funding and incitement of terrorism
Asher Elmaliach, 46, the security guard who sustained critical injuries when he was stabbed in the heart and lungs by an Arab terrorist on December 10, has been discharged from hospital after spending
weeks on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine.
The United States sent $60 million to keep the UN relief agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) in operation but withheld a further $65 million while it urged others to pay more. A State Department official said “There is a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of UNRWA, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded,” (See comment below)
It was reported last Thursday that Israel is to increase the number of work permits for Palestinians by 7,500. Some 100,000-110,000 Palestinians currently work in Israel, including 30,000-40,000 labourers without permits, while 30,000 work in Jewish communities in the West Bank.
Israeli customs personnel at Ashdod port discovered a large consignment of military equipment destined for Gaza, including thousands of items of military clothing, including boots, coats and combat vests, all in camouflage colours.
Army sappers detonated a cellphone-operated explosive device planted by Palestinians at the entrance to Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank on Tuesday morning, ahead of a visit by 1,000 Jewish worshippers .
The IDF arrested three Palestinian Arab sisters on Thursday in Hebron who had been planning to carry out a terror attack. When the sisters arrived at a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs, IDF Border Police officers found a knife strapped to the body of one of the women and another one on the ground.
P.M. Netanyahu, expecting to be met by the Indian Foreign Minister, was surprised to be warmly greeted by his counterpart, Indian P.M. Modi, on his arrival in Delhi on Sunday at the start of a 5 day visit.
Israel’s Laniado hospital used groundbreaking stem cell treatment from Israel’s BioGenCell to save amputating the legs of five diabetic patients with poor circulation. Stem cells from the patients’ blood injected into their leg muscles grew new blood vessels to bypass blockages.
WOMEN IN THE I.A.F.
Major T., 35, has been appointed the first female commander of a flight squadron in the Israel Air Force.A mother of 2, she has been promoted to lieutenant colonel. In addition, Maj. M, a female flight supervisor, has been appointed chief of a command and control unit at the air force operations headquarters and will be promoted to lieutenant colonel.
An Israeli high-tech paint SolCold uses the sun’s power to activate a cooling mechanism, effectively providing air conditioning without electricity. The product is generating interest for coating anything from chicken coops to cargo ships, malls to stadiums, cars to planes, satellites to hothouses, military equipment to apartment houses.
The high-speed train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem made its first test run on Tuesday and is due to open on 30 March.
The recently opened National Memorial Hall for Israel’s Fallen next to the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem has been included on a list of finalists for the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects’ 2018 international prize.
Last month, Cuba quietly welcomed an Israeli trade delegation to Havana for the first time since Cuba severed ties with Israel in 1973.
COMMENT & OPINION
Liat Collins: Britain ended its rule of India and Pakistan in 1947 and of Israel in 1948. An estimated 15 million people were uprooted in Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. Between one million and two million were killed. Seventy years on, India and Pakistan have an uneasy relationship that occasionally flares into conflict, but there is not a “refugee problem.” The Hindus and Sikhs who fled Pakistan and the Muslims who escaped in the other direction have not spent the past seven decades constantly being sold the illusion that they will move back and destroy their enemies. Similarly, the 850,000 Jews who left/fled Arab countries do not consider themselves “refugees” in Israel. Strangely, there are only “Palestinian refugees.” When the UN uniquely granted the Palestinians “perpetual refugee status” that is passed down through the generations, it ensured the perpetuation of their plight. UNRWA’s mandate to resettle the Palestinian refugees was rescinded in 1965. UNRWA is not the solution to the Palestinian refugee problem; it is the reason the problem still exists.
Funding that could go to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to help the Rohingya or the millions made homeless in the civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, or throughout Africa is instead being spent on the great-grandchildren of the original Palestinian refugees of ’48.
Alex Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky: The titanic crisis created by the Syrian civil war, which has produced millions of actual refugees, puts the Palestinian issue in a new and dramatically diminished light. UNRWA’s own mismanagement – such as reports that the agency has dramatically overcounted the Palestinians it serves in Lebanon – also makes the status quo more difficult to sustain… UNRWA has outlived its usefulness; the Palestinians are not “refugees” but are entitled to citizenship in the countries where they’ve lived for decades.
Ron Prosor: The most recent population census in Lebanon found that two-thirds of the refugees listed in UNRWA reports were simply made up.
ABBAS’ SPEECH LAST SUNDAY
David Horowitz: On Sep. 16, 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert offered PA President Abbas pretty much everything the Palestinians ostensibly seek from Israel in a bid to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all. For years afterwards, Olmert would say he was still waiting to hear back from Abbas.
Abbas chose not to accept Olmert’s unbeatable offer of statehood because it would have required the Palestinians to acknowledge the legitimacy of an Israel which – in Abbas’ own words to the PLO leadership on Sunday – is just a “colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism.”..detailing a narrative that allowed no historic Jewish connection to this land – no Biblical history, no Temples, no ancient sovereignty. He airbrushed the Jewish nation out of its own past. Obviously, no leader so determinedly blinded to his enemy’s legitimacy could ever have agreed to reconciliation…Abbas’ speech dismally underlined that the false narrative of Jewish history is not only cynically disseminated by Palestinian leaders to their people, but also is thoroughly accepted by the leaders themselves…The Olmert offer of a decade ago showed how far Israel was prepared to go to partner the Palestinians to statehood. The despicable, tragic, self-defeating Abbas speech of Sunday night showed that so long as the Palestinians blind themselves to the fact of Israel’s legitimacy, no Israeli offer is going to be good enough.