Israel Update: 24 August 2017
Israel provided food aid this week to a village in a drought-stricken area of South Sudan. The six tons of food aid were distributed to village residents by government officials, representatives from Israeli humanitarian groups and Israel’s Ambassador to South Sudan.
Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid organization IsraAID recently sent a first-response team of 16 volunteers to southern Nepal to bring medical, psychosocial and sanitation assistance in the wake of floods and landslides affecting six million people in 18 districts. The surging waters have washed away thousands of houses and permanently damaged farmland, food stocks and water infrastructure only two years after a devastating earthquake. More than 120 people have lost their lives, and many more are still missing…Meanwhile, in Africa, IsraAID continues to provide emergency relief in Sierra Leone following disastrous flooding and mudslides there that began on August 14.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary Secretary of State Michael Ratney said Monday he was “astounded” by Israel’s humanitarian treatment of Syrians wounded in that country’s six-year-old civil war and said the medical treatment the refugees have received at Ziv Medical Center in Safed has been an illustration of “Israeli compassion and competence.”
Leading a delegation of US officials on a tour of Israel’s northern borders with Lebanon and Syria, Ratney said he would “leave Ziv hospital with a profound appreciation for the heroic work you are doing…”
A Palestinian who approached Israeli Border Police officers with a knife and tried to attack them at a West Bank junction on Saturday, was shot. One officer was wounded by shrapnel. The attacker had, reportedly, left a note for his parents saying that he had gone out to carry out a “revenge attack” and not to mourn him because he was now a “martyr.”
Israeli troops arrested a Hebron man in possession of an M-4 assault rifle as he was trying to smuggle it into Israel from the West Bank on Monday.
A 21-year-old Palestinian was arrested in Netanya Saturday with a knife concealed on his person on his way to carry out a stabbing attack in the city. The suspect, a resident of the West Bank, was in Israel illegally. He told police in questioning that he intended to carry out an attack.
Israeli Border Police seized a truck loaded with weapon parts at a Jerusalem checkpoint on Tuesday, which was on its way to the West Bank. While checking a garbage truck, IDF inspectors found dozens of M-16 rifle parts among the trash
“The last few months have seen a sharp escalation in attacks by the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza on journalists and the media in a bid to silence dissent,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International. “By rounding up journalists and shutting down opposition websites, the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip appear to be using police state tactics to silence critical media and arbitrarily block people’s access to information.”
Israel’s Border Police are to equip their medics in the Jerusalem area with Israeli-made Woundclot hemostatic bandages, which help save lives by making the blood flowing from wounds clot faster. The new bandages can stop bleeding from gunshot or stab wounds in 40 seconds or less, even in a wound to an artery or to the stomach. During the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, the bandages proved efficient in stopping bleeding quickly and keeping victims alive while they were being transferred to hospitals.
Brig. Gen. Dr. Tarif Bader, a member of Israel’s Druze community, was sworn in Thursday as IDF chief medical officer. In his previous positions, Bader headed the IDF’s medical mission to treat wounded Syrians on the northern border, and commanded three IDF humanitarian delegations: to Haiti in 2010, Nepal in 2015 and Turkey in 2016.
The Swiss Government confirmed Monday that the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat a joint funding mechanism of the governments of Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, and The Netherlands – is suspending funding to the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC), following WATC’s role in inaugurating a West Bank women’s centre named after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who murdered 38 Israeli civilians in a 1978 terror attack.
VIDEO (3 minutes)
Luba Mayekiso, the National Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in South Africa, explains how Israeli innovation can revolutionize Africa. While other countries have selfishly exploited South Africa, Israel has established itself as a partner rather than colonizer.
COMMENT & OPINION
Danny Danon (Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N.):
I have given dozens of UN ambassadors tours of Israel’s border with Lebanon, where IDF officers identified Hizbullah positions along the border. Our guests asked where the UN Interim Force (UNIFIL) in Lebanon was, and why nothing was being done to stop Hizbullah terrorists from blatantly violating numerous Security Council resolutions. Our answer was that the UNIFIL force is there, but they are not effectively fulfilling their mandate.
In 2006, UNIFIL was charged with ensuring that the territory south of the Litani River remained free of weapons and fighters other than the Lebanese army…UNIFIL must meticulously inspect the towns and villages of southern Lebanon. Hizbullah strongholds must be dismantled, and other villages must be kept free of rockets and weapons aimed at Israeli population centres.
No one wants UNIFIL to succeed more than Israel does. With Hamas rearming in Gaza and Islamic State increasing its strength along our frontier with Syria, we seek calm and stability on our northern border.
Dr. Reuven Berko: Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch who was recently arrested *, controls an enormous funding empire that pays mercenaries to riot on the Temple Mount, in Jaffa, and at other sites. The massive amounts of cash being pumped into the Islamic Movement come from global Islamic charities and, indirectly, from Turkey and Qatar….Salah, who shows up at flashpoints in Jerusalem or Jaffa and gives religious speeches full of Islamic symbolism, is the one prompting these bloody clashes. …Salah does not attend the riots to teach Islamic heritage, but to incite more bloodshed.
(*and subsequently charged with incitement to commit terrorism)
Gal Levertov:Two states for two peoples is an Israeli interest and should be a Palestinian interest as well. Yitzhak Rabin did his best to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians and brought the Oslo Agreement. Shimon Peres worked to create a “new Middle East.” Ariel Sharon uprooted settlements in Gaza and the West Bank. And Ehud Barak offered Arafat everything he could at Camp David in 2000. The reality is that the Palestinian leadership today is not willing to compromise and divide the land, and continues to seek to establish its state not alongside Israel but in place of it. While many states continue to insist on pressuring Israel, the reality is that there will never be a peace agreement as long as they continue to pressure the side that wants an agreement, instead of the side that opposes it