Israel Update: 21 June 2018
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar paid a Gazan family to lie about a baby dying from tear gas inhalation rather than from a pre-existing medical condition during recent deadly border riots, according to an indictment filed on Thursday against the baby’s relative, Mahmoud Omar who was arrested during border riots. Omar found out that the baby had died from a blood disease, similar to that which caused the death of her brother.
OVERNIGHT ROCKET ATTACKS ON SOUTHERN ISRAEL
Throughout the early morning on Wednesday, barrages totalling some 45 rockets and mortar shells were fired toward Israeli towns, prompting rounds of Israeli airstrikes on Hamas military sites in the Gaza Strip. At least six rockets landed inside Israeli communities, including one that struck just outside a kindergarten. Seven were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system and at least three landed inside Gaza.
In response, IAF jets struck at 25 targets in various military bases belonging to the Hamas terror group. https://www.timesofisrael.com/3-rockets-land-in-gaza-border-communities-amid-night-of-intense-idf-hamas-fire/
ECO-TERRORISM CAUSING DEVASTATION IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL
Molotov cocktails and chemical bombs tied to kites and helium-filled balloons have been launched from inside Gaza for the past 78 days. The firebombs ignite when they land on the Israeli side of the border. Low-tech tactics, but they work. As of this writing, 412 fires have blazed in Israeli farm fields and conservation areas. Over 17,500 dunams (4,300 acres) lie scorched to the ground, at least 10,000 dunams (2,471 acres) of which are parks and nature reserves. At least one-third of Israel’s land along the Gaza periphery has suffered extensive damage… Over 40 beehives have perished in flames near Tel Gama. That means 40 fewer bee colonies to pollinate crops on both sides.
CONTINUING THREAT FROM INCENDIARY KITES & BALLOONS FLOWN FROM GAZA INTO ISRAEL.
On Sunday two balloons carrying incendiary devices landed in a residential backyard tree. Three more incendiary balloons were found in a tree in the suburbs of Sderot…17 fires broke out in southern Israel as a result of the incendiary kites and balloons … the IDF warned and carried out several attacks near the cells responsible for the arson.
More than 1,000 turkeys at Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha choked to death from smoke inhalation as a result of the fires on Sunday.
More than 20 fires broke out across the South on Saturday.
IAF jets hit two Hamas military bases and a weapons production facility early Monday. During the strike, three rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel. The IDF Spokesman’s Office said the strikes were in response to the incendiary and explosive balloons and kites launched from Gaza.
Last Friday at Kibbutz Nir Am, which has suffered a number of fires sparked by burning kites flown from Gaza, children and residents launched “peace” balloons carrying candy towards Gaza. Incendiary balloons and kites set 11 fires inside Israel on Friday.
16 fires caused by incendiary kites sent from Gaza broke out in Israel on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, incendiary balloons landed on a childrens’ trampoline.
The Russian Embassy in Israel held its annual Russia Day celebration in Jerusalem last Thursday, the first national day reception to be held in the capital by any country in recent memory. The Russian Ambassador said holding the reception in Jerusalem was in line with Russia’s statement last year that “we view west Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Israeli security forces recently exposed a 20 strong Hamas terror cell operating in the Nablus area in the West Bank, which planned to carry out attacks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Security forces found explosive devices, one of which weighed 10 kg. and could be detonated remotely.
A firearm and bomb-manufacturing instructions were also found.
Israeli Border Policemen arrested a Palestinian last Thursday who drew a knife at a security checkpoint at the entrance to the Cave of the Patriarchs
UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
The U.S.A. withdrew from the UNHRC on Tuesday. Secretary of State Pompeo said: the UNHRC has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy – with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored, and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told the UNHCR on Monday: “We share the view that a dedicated agenda item focused solely on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace and unless things change, we shall move next year to vote against all resolutions introduced under” this item.
P.M. Netanyahu’s video offering to share Israeli water technology with the Iranians racked up 5 million views in the first five days it was online.
Nearly 100,000 Iranians joined the Israeli government’s Farsi-language Telegram account within 24 hours.
The PELE programme at Jerusalem’s Alyn Hospital focuses on finding personalized solutions for children with special needs.
Eight-year old Yusuf, a resident of East Jerusalem, has a debilitating bone illness that makes it difficult for him to bend his joints. One of his greatest wishes was to be able to eat independently rather than be fed or have to bring his mouth to his plate. A PELE team came up with a solution that combines an aluminum structure, a spoon, a plate, a wheel that Yusuf can turn, some electronics and the use of a 3D printer. And Yusuf can now eat by himself. https://www.timesofisrael.com/the-8-year-old-who-can-now-eat-by-himself-and-other-rehab-tech-success-stories/
Israel-based company TIPA makes plastic packaging film that is 100% compostable. It disintegrates into water, carbon dioxide and organic matter that bacteria then degrade.
Professor Raphael Mechoulam, a scientist at Hebrew University and a pioneer in the field, was the first to isolate, analyze and synthesize the major psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds in cannabis and has developed a number of revolutionary marijuana-related treatments.
COMMENT & OPINION
Amb. Alan Baker (EXTRACT) :
By initiating, encouraging, and supporting mass pollution of the border area through the organized stockpiling and burning of tyres, the Palestinian leadership is responsible for repeatedly creating caustic clouds of carbon pollution. This act is damaging to the health of the Palestinian civilian demonstrators themselves, as well as the residents of Israeli communities in the vicinity of the border.
Incendiary kites and balloons have ignited vast swathes of agricultural land in Israel, destroyed crops, and endangered Israeli residents. The International Criminal Court Statute defines as a war crime “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”
Weaponizing kites and balloons by attaching explosive devices with the intention that they will explode upon landing or when found by Israeli civilians is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, notably the 1997 Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. Moreover, the 2001 Conventional Weapons Convention prohibits the use of incendiary weapons
Dr. Qanta A. Ahmed: It was my unique pleasure to enjoy my iftar – breaking the Ramadan fast – at the home of the Israeli Ambassador in Washington. The warmth of the multi-faith, multi-national and multi-cultural attendees was immediately embracing… It was a wonderfully accepting scene, and mirrored exactly what I have learned is the true nature of the State of Israel. I was greeted by a particularly radiant and friendly woman whose ethnicity again stumped me. We talked about her work as bureau chief of Israel’s i24 television, so I assumed she must be Israeli. Her name was Mounira Al Hmoud, a Muslim of Saudi and Algerian origin
Nabil Basherat, 44, is a department head at SodaStream. Nadia Aloush, 50, is the manager of the Mishor Adumim branch of Rami Levy, Israel’s third-largest supermarket chain. Dajani Daoudi, 72, director of American studies at Al-Quds University in eastern Jerusalem, had to resign his position following the uproar over a trip he led of Palestinian university students to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Their stories are included in the new study Defeating Denormalization: Shared Palestinian and Israeli Perspectives on a New Path to Peace, published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Together with independent Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh and Professor Ali Qleibo, they are asking Palestinians, Israelis and the rest of the world to put aside politics and calls for boycotts and focus on how to improve the lives of the Arabs living in the West Bank…. Basherat, is very critical of the BDS movement.” The global BDS campaign has done the Palestinians more harm than good,” he said. “The BDS movement threatens my job security and my livelihood. They undercut the livelihood of hundreds of SodaStream employees, who were fired when the company closed its Mishor Adumim factory.
Prof. Daoudi : Palestinian supporters of the global boycott campaign and denormalization of relations with Israel do not encourage peace, reconciliation, and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. Rather, they have deepened the current political and diplomatic stalemate and have further entrenched Palestinian and Israeli negative conceptions of the “other.” The better option is the path of wasatia, a religious term in Islam for the middle path of temperance and reconciliation. Wasatia is the only straight path forward for Palestinians to achieve state sovereignty and for Israelis and Palestinians to achieve peace, coexistence, prosperity, and good neighborly relations
Khaled Abu Toameh: The Palestinian leadership’s rejection of normalized relations with Israel that were established in 1993 with the Oslo Accords has created an economic void, hurting the Palestinian public. The Oslo vision has been undermined, largely because of measures by the Palestinian leadership to publicly shun Israeli-Palestinian economic cooperation and stifle domestic Palestinian business initiatives and innovation