Israel Update: 29 March 2018

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Seasonal Greetings to my readers – Pesach Sameach/Happy Easter.H.R.G.

GAZA BORDER

Israel’s security forces are gearing up for huge protests, expected to take place along the Gaza Strip’s security fence on Friday, putting additional units on alert out of concerns that large numbers of Gazans might try to break through the barrier and rush into Israel.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/with-extra-troops-snipers-drones-israel-braces-for-land-day-border-protest/

The IDF has proved it can deal with marches and demonstrations well when it has time to prepare, and it will send troop reinforcements to the border. The rules of engagement are: Anyone who tries to cross the border will be subject to the “suspect arrest protocol” (firing in the air and then at the legs), and anyone who tried to injure soldiers will be hit. The Chief of Staff has ordered commanders to try as much as possible to avoid civilian deaths, but the mission they were given is to prevent a mass crossing of the border fence.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-gears-up-for-large-scale-clashes-along-gaza-border-on-land-day-1.5938182

UNRWA’s Gaza director, Matthias Schmale wrote a letter in support of the  “Great Return March” to the organisers. (NOTE: UNWRA is supposedly “neutral”)

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156632391771416&set=a.10154319685011416.1073741828.691436415&type=3&theater

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The UNHCR passed five anti-Israel resolutions in Geneva last Friday. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said: “When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran, and Syria, it is the Council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name… Today’s actions make clear that the organization lacks the credibility needed to be a true advocate for human rights.” One resolution called on Israel to give the Golan Heights to civil war-torn Syria.

https://www.jns.org/un-human-rights-council-passes-five-resolutions-against-israel/

One resolution, which condemned the occupation in the Golan Heights, was supported by 25 countries and opposed by 24, and seven countries abstained. All European Union countries voted against the resolution and were joined by countries in South America, Asia and Africa.

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5195307,00.html

 

The UK government attacked the UNHRC agenda on Israel’s actions in the West Bank, saying, “The disproportionate number of resolutions against Israel and the existence of a dedicated agenda item (Item 7) that singles out Israel does little to advance dialogue, stability or mutual understanding.”  The UK delegation voted against two of five resolutions on Israel, but supported two others. The U.S. and Australia were the only nations to oppose each of the five motions

https://www.thejc.com/news/world/un-human-rights-council-israel-west-bank-palestine-uk-nikki-haley-1.461317

Full UK statement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/human-rights-council-37-explanation-of-votes-on-resolutions-on-israel-and-the-occupied-palestinan-territories

THE P.A.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has decided to return to directly providing financial aid to families of terrorists imprisoned in Israel and to families of terrorists killed in attacks against Israel. The PA had been indirectly paying the families of the “martyrs” for four years. The move comes after the US passed last Friday the Taylor Force Act—which halts economic aid to the PA until it ceases paying stipends to terrorists and to the families of deceased terrorists—as a show of defiance against the new clamp down. The legislation was named after a 29-year-old American military veteran fatally stabbed by a Palestinian while visiting Israel in 2016.

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5204886,00.html

WEAPONS SMUGGLING

Five Israelis from Druze communities in the north of the country were indicted Sunday for smuggling weapons from Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in the West Bank into Israel.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/5-druze-israelis-arrested-for-smuggling-weapons-from-west-bank/

 I.D.F. CLEARED

 An Israeli military investigation determined that a Palestinian paraplegic was not killed by Israeli troops attempting to quell a riot near the Gaza border fence. The investigation revealed that Israeli snipers stopped firing at least an hour before Palestinians say the double amputee, who used a wheelchair, was killed. A Gaza Division investigation revealed that Abu Thuraya, who often participated in the fence protests, visited his family members on the night before the incident and apologized that he had to bid farewell to them as a “shahid” (martyr).

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5203925,00.html

TRANSPORT

Saudi Arabia has opened its airspace for the first time to an Israel-bound Air India passenger plane, breaking a 70-year ban on flying over the Arab kingdom.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/23/israel-bound-flight-crosses-saudi-arabia-airspace-first-time

 CO-OPERATION

 Moshe Kahlon, Israel’s finance minister, has succeeded in developing a quiet channel with the Palestinian leadership. First it was on the basis of economic cooperation, while later other issues were added. His conversations are sprinkled with the Arabic he learned from his parents.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-s-quiet-economic-backchannel-to-the-palestinians-1.5937062

 WATER

A special forum presenting the latest water solutions from the public and private sectors in Israel was hosted by the Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. to mark International Water Day. 

Examples of Israeli water technology used in more than 100 countries around the world were presented.

 http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israel-hosts-UN-water-solutions-event-with-dignitaries-from-across-globe-546902

 ETHIOPIA

 Eight doctors, two nurses and one physical therapist from the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem travelled on a medical mission to Ethiopia recently.  The Israeli team performed five complex spinal surgeries. The patients, all aged 18 and under, had spine deformities so severe that they were causing potentially lethal complications, including pressure on internal organs and lung infections. One doctor said:“The problem with pediatric cases is if you don’t treat them in time, they progress,” he said, “and these cases were so bad that if we wouldn’t have operated on these children, at least half of them would be dead by next year.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-doctors-perform-lifesaving-spinal-surgeries-in-ethiopia/

 INDIA

 Innovative Israeli agricultural technologies will help some six million Indian farmers grow crops such as sugar cane and cotton with maximum water efficiency, thanks to agreements signed recently in Tel Aviv between several Israeli companies and international solution-oriented civil society organization Solidaridad Network.

https://www.israel21c.org/solidaridad-to-bring-israeli-innovation-to-indian-farmers/

 ZAMBIA

 Zambia President Edgar Lungu said that bilateral relations between Zambia and Israel should result in economic growth if best practices, especially in agriculture, which Israel has implemented well, are emulated.

https://www.lusakatimes.com/2018/03/20/zambia-boost-bilateral-relations-israel/

 INFILTRATIONS

 Israeli forces detained three Palestinians carrying knives and hand grenades who had infiltrated 20 km. into Israel from Gaza on Tuesday

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/IDF-arrests-3-Gazans-who-infiltrated-Israel-with-knives-grenades-547222

 Two Palestinians armed with a knife and wire cutters breached the security fence around Gaza on Thursday, the fourth such incident in a week. On Wednesday an unarmed man was arrested moments after he crossed into Israeli territory. Last Saturday, four masked Palestinian men breached the security fence in southern Gaza and ran into Israeli territory. They tried to set fire to the engineering equipment being used to construct a barrier designed to counter efforts by terror groups to tunnel into Israel.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/two-palestinians-breach-gaza-security-fence-in-fourth-incident-in-a-week/

 COUNTER TERRORISM

 Israeli Police arrested a suspected would-be terrorist and his alleged accomplice following a manhunt in Beersheba on Thursday.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/police-on-high-alert-in-beersheba-due-to-suspected-security-incident/

 INNOVATION

 UBQ, an Israeli company has patented a process to convert household trash from landfills into reusable plastic. After five years of development, the company is bringing its operations online, with hopes of revolutionizing waste management worldwide and making landfills obsolete.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-firm-says-it-can-turn-garbage-into-plastic-gold/

 Israeli company Check Cap recently received the European Union’s CE Mark for its C-Scan system, an ingestible x-ray capsule for preparation-free colorectal cancer screening.

https://www.israel21c.org/high-tech-capsule-could-be-alternative-to-colonoscopy/

 Israel has launched an innovative new programme to encourage researchers to venture into the field of precision medicine, an emerging medical approach in which treatments are tailored to meet the specific needs of patients and their illnesses.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-launches-60m-initiative-to-boost-tailor-made-meds

 COMMENT & OPINION

Makvan Kasheikal  (leader of the Democrats in Norway):Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East, a country that defends Western Christian-Jewish culture, democracy, human dignity and humanism.

We Kurds are Western-oriented and want a Kurdish democratic state. We thank Israel for the support of our cause. It is time that other Western countries also wake up and support a group fighting for democracy and contributing to the fight against terrorism. For Western countries to support a Palestinian state, but show total uninterest in establishing a state for us Kurds, demonstrates a double standard. In addition, we have also noticed that the Palestinian Authority has failed to support us.

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Time-for-the-West-to-follow-Israels-example-546605

Wall St Journal Editorial: Syria bombs civilians with chlorine gas, China tortures dissidents, Venezuela restricts access to food and Burma is engaged in ethnic cleaning of a Muslim minority. So naturally the UN Human Rights Council trains the bulk of its outrage on…Israel.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-u-n-hates-israel-1522014994