Israel Update: 7 June 2018
GUATEMALA VOLCANIC ERUPTION
Israel said Monday it would send emergency aid funding to Guatemala after a deadly volcanic eruption left at least 25 people dead and cities covered in ash. The money is to go toward buying medicine, food and blankets for those affected.
A team of Israeli doctors flew to the disaster zone today Thursday. Israeli emergency aid organization IsrAid also announced that they are sending a team. Meanwhile the Israeli embassy and a team from Israel’s Zaka emergency service have launched efforts in Guatemala to provide aid and basic necessities to those affected, including blankets, medicine, first aid kits and water purification tablets. Nearly 200 people are missing and at least 75 have been killed since Guatemala’s Fuego volcano began erupting over the weekend
ARSON TERRORISM FROM GAZA IS DEVASTATING LARGE TRACTS OF ISRAEL NEAR THE GAZA BORDER
Thousands of dunams of western Negev forests & nature reserves have gone up in flames in past few weeks as a result of incendiary kites; damage may take 30 years to repair. Not only the region’s flora was hit hard, as the native fauna has also suffered. Torched wheat fields can no longer be used as birthing grounds for the area’s gazelle population, while the reptilian populace of natural sites will take a long time to recover.
On Sunday, flaming kites from Gaza struck five points along Israel’s border region. A massive fire swept through the Shokeda Forest, site of an annual winter festival. Since April, 300 incendiary kites have been flown into Israel’s territory, causing 100 fires and decimating more than 3,000 acres of wheat fields and tourist sites.
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) is concerned about the animal population dwindling in the areas that where set on fire by the incendiary kites flown from Gaza. The area’s birds managed to escape the blaze, whereas some of the reptiles did not. Severe damage was caused Saturday to the Karmiya Reserve as a result of an incendiary kite sent from Gaza. The kite caused a fire that consumed 300 dunams (about 75 acres). The reserve’s reptile population did not stand a chance..
Firefighters and farmers were fighting Saturday evening to put out a fire that broke out in a wheat field near the Sapir College in Sderot caused by an incendiary kite flown from Gaza.
After weeks of setting fires inside Israel using “incendiary kites,” Gazans are now using a new arson tactic: helium balloons.In total, 4,300 acres, or nearly seven square miles of land, have been burned in more than 250 fires over the past two months, more than half of it in nature reserves.
The blazes have wrought havoc on local wildlife, ecologists say. And there are more fires every day.
Incendiary kites launched from Gaza sparked fires in 10 locations in Israel on Tuesday. The JNF said Tuesday, “It is inconceivable that the international community would allow Hamas not to be held accountable and pay for its criminal acts; not only against the citizens of the State of Israel, but also against nature and the environment which have been severely hurt by this criminal environmental terrorism.” In the past few months, 697 acres of JNF forests have been burned
A fire broke out near Kibbutz Nahal Oz today, Thursday after an incendiary kite was flown over the border from the Gaza Strip.
FURTHER ROCKET ATTACKS ON SOUTHERN ISRAEL
The Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted three projectiles fired at southern Israel by terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip, with another apparently landing in Israeli territory, in four separate attacks in the predawn hours of Sunday. Thousands of Israelis were sent rushing to bomb shelters throughout the night as sirens were repeatedly triggered to warn them of incoming fire. Earlier on Saturday night, Iron Dome intercepted a rocket fired at southern Israel by a terrorist group in the Gaza Strip,. A second rocket was also launched around the same time, but appeared to fall on the Palestinian side of the Gaza border.
OTHER NEWS RE THE GAZA BORDER
Terrorists cut through the border fence Sunday evening, set ablaze a container containing equipment used for the construction of an anti-tunnel barrier, and then returned to Gaza.
Israeli soldiers did not fire directly at a Palestinian medic who was killed last Friday on the Gaza border, a preliminary military investigation found. Soldiers opened fire at rioters and not directly at the medic.
The IDF’s Arabic-language spokesman posted a video on his Facebook page on Thursday purporting to show the medic, who died during clashes on the Gaza border last week, throwing a gas grenade. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5281069,00.html
The Palestinian Authority informed the French government last month that Iran was financing the violent protests along the Gaza border.
The Israeli Air Force today Thursday dropped flyers across the Gaza Strip calling on Palestinians not to take part in violent protests along the security fence, ahead of a mass demonstration expected near the border tomorrow, Friday.
An IDF force located several grenades, firebombs, and a pipe bomb thrown by terrorists near the Gaza border fence, the army said Monday. The IDF said this was further evidence “of the violent nature of the rioting led by Hamas in order to carry out attacks against IDF forces and Israeli civilians.”
OTHER GAZA-RELATED NEWS
Disturbing footage has emerged of children at a Gaza nursery school dressing up as jihadis and storming an Israeli building.They then take a child dressed in Orthodox Jewish clothing hostage, before pretending to kill an Israeli soldier.
VIDEO: from Turkish TV: another example of the plentiful side of Gaza broadcast on Turkish Channel TRT on May 24, 2018.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has threatened to sever security cooperation with Israel if the blockade on the Gaza Strip is lifted, according to the Palestine Information Centre. The news site reported that the PA intelligence chief sent a letter to his Israeli counterpart warning him against any action that would help alleviate the suffering of the population in Gaza. The warning allegedly came after reports surfaced that Egypt and Qatar would help mediate a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas that would relax the blockade, now in its eleventh year. Such a plan is thought to be detrimental to the interests of the PA, which seeks to pressure Hamas into handing over control of the Strip.
TERRORIST ATTACK THWARTED
A Palestinian driving a tractor attempted to run over a group of IDF soldiers and then tried to attack Israeli civilians near the West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday before he was shot and killed.
The U.S. Navy announced on Wednesday that 26 nations, 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial RIMPAC (Pacific Rim drills) being held June 27 to Aug. 2.This would mark the first time Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Israel have joined the drills,
A major US-led military exercise with 18,000 soldiers from 19 primarily NATO countries has begun in the alliance’s eastern flank involving Poland and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.Non-NATO member Israel will be taking part in Saber Strike for the first time.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop wrote on May 29 to the Palestinian Authority asking for assurances Australian aid hasn’t funded payments to “martyrs.”
(The PA has been accused of paying stipends to the families of terrorists killed or jailed by Israeli authorities of up to US$3,500 a month.)
COMMENT & OPINION
South African radio personality Gareth Cliff declared that Israel is entitled to protect itself from Palestinians “clearly hellbent on violence.” “I looked at what was going on over there and I have done quite a lot of reading with quite a lot of the news articles from around the world and this claim that Israel shot demonstrators is just a blatant lie. It’s an absolute falsehood,” Cliff said. “This was an attempt to invade a sovereign nation and border communities to indiscriminately slaughter civilians.”Cliff claimed that a successful “border breach” would have resulted in “real carnage on both sides.”
Ivo Vegter:Gareth Cliff was right. The Gaza “protest” was in fact an orchestrated attack on the Israeli border. Given the violent history of Hamas, which includes rocket attacks against Israeli towns and civilians, it comes as no surprise that the Israeli defence forces took the threat of incursion seriously, and responded with force.
David Harris: Fifty-one years ago this week, the Six Day War broke out.
…in June 1967, there was no state of Palestine. It didn’t exist and never had. Its creation, proposed by the UN in 1947, was rejected by the Arab world because it also meant the establishment of a Jewish state alongside.
…the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem were in Jordanian hands. Violating solemn agreements, Jordan denied Jews access to their holiest places in eastern Jerusalem. To make matters still worse, they desecrated and destroyed many of those sites.
Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian control, with harsh military rule imposed on local residents.
…the 1967 boundary at the time of the war, so much in the news these days, was nothing more than an armistice line dating back to 1949 — familiarly known as the Green Line.
Sever Plocker: Immediately after Israel pulled out of there (Gaza) , it turned out the strip wouldn’t be like Singapore – but rather like Benghazi. The Hamas militias had no interest in an organized transfer of the production and real estate assets Israel had left behind. They preferred to build training camps in greenhouses than grow tomatoes there. And the PA vanished from the area. That sealed the enclave’s fate…The economic, social, and security situation in Gaza has deteriorated in the years that have passed since the disengagement.
Bassam Tawil: The same Palestinians who are openly stating that the flaming kites are aimed at “burning the Jews” and eliminating Israel are also arguing that this new form of terrorism is in the context a “peaceful and nonviolent protest” by the residents of the Gaza Strip…The flaming kites should be seen in the context of the ongoing Palestinian terror campaign that began decades ago and the goal of which is to kill Jews and eliminate Israel. There is no difference between the kites and rockets and mortars.