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26th October – Latest News in Israel

Netanyahu: “Muslims pray on the Temple Mount, non-Muslims visit”

Only Muslims can worship on the Temple Mount, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late Saturday night as he continued to dismiss charges that Israel had violated the status quo on the site where the Al-Aksa Mosque compound is located.

“Israel will continue to enforce its longstanding policy:  Muslims pray on the Temple Mount; non-Muslims visit the Temple Mount,” Netanyahu said.

“Those who visit or worship on the Temple Mount must be allowed to do so in peace, free from violence, from threats, from intimidation and from provocations. We will continue to ensure access to the Temple Mount for peaceful worshipers and visitors, while maintaining public order and security,” Netanyahu said.

“Recognizing the importance of the Temple Mount to peoples of all three monotheistic faiths – Jews, Muslims and Christians:  Israel re-affirms its commitment to upholding unchanged the status quo of the Temple Mount, in word and in practice,” Netanyahu said.

“Israel has no intention to divide the Temple Mount, and we completely reject any attempt to suggest otherwise,” Netanyahu said.

It is the latest in a series of statements Netanyahu has made in past weeks in an attempt to halt attacks by Palestinians against Israelis. He has charged that the attacks are fuelled by Palestinian warnings, including from its leadership that the Al-Aksa mosque is in danger.

He issued the statement after an intense flurry of diplomatic activity to restore calm. US Secretary of State John Kerry held separate meetings in Amman with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah on Saturday. Those meetings followed a face-to-face conversation he had with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Germany on Thursday and a gathering of the Middle East Quartet there on Friday.

Kerry told reporters in Amman that 24 hour video cameras would be placed at the Temple Mount, known in Arabic as Haram al-Sharif, in an attempt to quell the violence making making all actions there transparent.

An Israeli official said that it was in the country’s best interest to have the security cameras “to refute claims that Israel is changing the status quo. We want to show that Israel is not acting provocatively.”

Kerry also dismissed charges against Israeli actions on the Temple Mount and affirmed Jordan’s special status to the site, which is under the custodianship of the Islamic Wakf and King Abdullah.

Hours later Netanyahu echoed Kerry, when he said, “We respect the importance of the special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, as reflected in the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, and the historical role of King Abdullah II.”

The prime minister said that coordination between Israeli authorities and the Jordanian Wakf would be increased to ensure security at the site

“We support the call for the immediate restoration of calm, and for all the appropriate steps to be taken to ensure that violence ceases, that provocative actions are avoided, and that the situation returns to normalcy in a way that promotes the prospects for peace,” Netanyahu said.

“We look forward to working cooperatively to lower tensions, stop incitement and discourage violence,” he said.

The Palestinians, however, have not been swayed by Netanyahu’s continued statements on the Temple Mount.

Abbas told Kerry on Saturday that Netanyahu was violating the status quo on the Temple Mount and that he was lying when he stated otherwise, according to PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat.

“Before the year 2000, tourists used to enter the Haram al-Sharif [Temple Mount] under the guard of the employees of the Wakf department and non-Muslims were not allowed to pray there,” Erekat said.

“But now the Israelis have changed the regulations and tourists visit the site after receiving permits from Israeli authorities and under protection of the Israel Police.”

He said the Palestinians are now waiting to see whether the Israeli government would take serious measures to calm the situation.

Abbas holds the Israeli government fully responsible for the current wave of violence because of its policy of expanding settlements,”Judaizing’ Jerusalem,” as well as land confiscation and “ethnic cleansing,” Erekat said.                                                               (Jerusalem Post)

Terror attack: 25-year-old Israeli stabbed in Ariel, IDF searches for assailant

Israeli evacuated to hospital in Petah Tikva after suffering a stab wound to his upper body.

A 25-year-old Israeli was stabbed and moderately-to-seriously wounded in a terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Ariel on Sunday evening, the IDF stated.

MDA paramedics transported the man to Rabin Medical Center’s Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva after providing him with initial treatment at the scene of the attack on Route 5 at the Ariel junction. The man was stabbed in his upper body, according to paramedics.

According to the IDF, security forces were searching for the assailant, who fled the scene.

Following the attack, Ariel Mayor Eliyahu Shaviro said he trusted the security forces but that he would make sure that the IDF was sufficiently responding to the security needs of Jews at the junction where the attack took place.

“It saddens me that Tel Aviv, Ariel, Ra’anana, have become places where innocent Jews are attacked. Unfortunately the unending incitement from the side of the Palestinian leadership leads to these tragic results,” he said.

Earlier on Sunday, a terrorist was shot and killed while trying to stab Border Police officers at the entrance to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

The attempted attack in Hebron followed an attack in Gush Etzion on Sunday morning in which a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and moderately wounded an Israeli civilian.

The incident began when Palestinians hurled rocks at an Israeli vehicle near the settlement of Metzad. The driver exited his vehicle and was stabbed in the chest by a terrorist.

IDF units were searching the area for the attacker.                                                     (Jerusalem Post)

Terrorist shot dead after attempting to stab police at Cave of the Patriarchs

A terrorist tried to stab Border Police Officers at the entrance to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron Sunday after she aroused the suspicion of officers.

The woman was waiting to enter the holy site, but was acting suspiciously. She was asked for identification but suddenly took out a knife and started walking toward the police, while screaming at them.

The officers fired at her and she was killed. She did not manage to injure anyone at the scene.

Earlier in the day, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and moderately injured an Israeli civilian in Gush Etzion.

The incident began when Palestinians hurled rocks at an Israeli vehicle near the settlement of Metzad. The driver exited his vehicle and was stabbed in the chest by a terrorist.

IDF units were searching the area for the attacker.

The 58-year-old Israeli man was evacuated in moderate condition with a stab wound to the upper body and rushed to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.

(Jerusalem Post)

Arab man arrested after boarding bus with knife, kippa in pocket

An Arab man was arrested and removed from a bus traveling on Route 90 near Kibbutz Gesher in the Beit She’an valley on Sunday, following complaints about a suspicious individual who expressed his intention to become a martyr.

The bus was located at the entrance to the city of Tiberias, and police officers quickly boarded and removed the suspect from the scene.

The suspect was detained and searched by police forces, who found a knife and kippa on his person.

The incident was determined to be criminal instead of terror related, and the suspect was released after investigation.

This incident is one of several attacks thwarted by vigilant citizens this past week.

On Saturday, a Palestinian attempted to stab an Israeli security guard at a West Bank crossing and was shot dead by security personnel at the scene, Northern District police said.

According to Northern District police, a Palestinian approached the Gilboa (Jalame) crossing north of Jenin armed with a knife and attempted to stab a security guard posted at the crossing. Police said he was then shot dead by other security guards.

On Friday, police stopped a terror attack in Jerusalem’s Nof Zion neighborhood after receiving reports of a suspicious man eyeing Jewish houses in the area.

Border Police Officers arrived to the scene and started questioning the man, a 21-year-old resident of the city’s Jebl Mukaber neighborhood and noticed that his right hand was hidden behind a fence.

They maintained their distance as the suspect showed the officers his right arm. His hand was in a fist, as if he was holding something.

Police asked the suspect to open his hand in order to see if he was holding a weapon, but he refused and requested for the officers to allow him to return to his home neighborhood.

Finally, one of the officers managed to apprehend the suspect, grabbed his arm and found a knife hidden in the suspect’s sleeve.                         (Jerusalem Post)

Terrorist shot, killed after attempting to stab security guard in Jenin

A Palestinian attempted to stab an Israeli security guard at a West Bank crossing Saturday morning and was shot dead by security personnel at the scene, Northern District police said.

According to Northern District police, a Palestinian approached the Gilboa (Jalame) crossing north of Jenin armed with a knife and attempted to stab a security guard posted at the crossing. Police said he was then shot dead by other security guards.

According to a preliminary investigation recounting the moments leading up to the attack, the suspect, 16, was posing as a vendor, weaving through dozens of cars that were halted at the Jamala checkpoint.

Suddenly, the terrorist pulled out a knife and began to run towards the guards at the checkpoint. At that point a security guard readied his weapon and neutralized the attacker.

“This scenario and so many instances like it have increased our security awareness,” according to Brigadier General Kamil Abu Rokon, head of the Crossing Authority in the Defense Ministry. “Our security personnel functioned exactly as we expected them to,” he added.

There were no other injuries in the incident, police said.

Earlier on Saturday, an Israeli man claimed that a Palestinian terrorist attempted to stab him near The Garden Tomb of Jerusalem, outside the Old City, according to police.

While walking on Nablus Road, the Israeli man said he suddenly “heard a scream, turned around and saw the suspect with a knife in his hand who then attempted to wound him”, according to a complaint filed with Jerusalem police. The man said he was able to wrestle the knife away from the perpetrator’s hand, who then fled the scene.

Police say they have possession of the weapon and are scanning the area for possible suspects.

On Friday, police thwarted a terror attack in Jerusalem’s Nof Zion neighborhood after receiving reports of a suspicious man eyeing Jewish houses in the area.

Border Police Officers arrived to the scene and started questioning the man, a 21-year-old resident of the city’s Jebl Mukaber neighborhood and noticed that his right hand was hidden behind a fence.

They maintained their distance as the suspect showed the officers his right arm. His hand was in a fist, as if he was holding something.

Police asked the suspect to open his hand in order to see if he was holding a weapon, but he refused and requested for the officers to allow him to return to his home neighborhood.

Finally, one of the officers managed to apprehend the suspect, grabbed his arm and found a knife hidden in the suspect’s sleeve.

The suspect was arrested and will undergo a police investigation.                                              (Jerusalem Post)

‘Palestinian attacker in Jenin posed as Krembo seller’

The Palestinian attacker shot dead by Israeli security forces Saturday morning at a checkpoint near Jenin as he tried to stab a security guard posed as a seller of Krembo, a popular chocolate-and-marshmallow Israeli winter treat.

The Defense Ministry said the teenager, identified as Muhammad Zakarna, 16 from Kabatiyeh in the northern West Bank, carried a box full of the treat as he approached the checkpoint.

According to the ministry, the Palestinian teenager was moving between cars waiting at the checkpoint leading into Israel, where IDF soldiers were checking identification cards. Suddenly, he tossed the box aside and ran toward security forces knife in hand before being shot.

The incident occurred at the Jalama checkpoint, or the Gilboa crossing, at the northern entrance to the West Bank City. The checkpoint is manned by private security guards alongside IDF troops.

None on the Israeli side were hurt in the attack.                                            (The Times of Israel)

Three Israeli children, parents suffer burns in West Bank firebombing attack

Paramedics said the four-year-old is in moderate condition, while the remaining two suffered light wound in the firebombing of their vehicle.

Palestinian terrorists threw a firebomb at a vehicle traveling on Route 60 on Friday evening, wounding five members of an Israeli family – girls aged four and 11, their brother and their parents.

The four year old suffered moderate burns, while her mother, 44, father, and two siblings were lightly wounded.

They were all taken to Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.

The car was attacked while traveling north from the Givat Assaf outpost toward Beit El, north of Ramallah.

The IDF was searching for the attackers.

On Saturday morning, a Palestinian posing as a Krembo candy vendor tried to stab a security guard at the Gilboa (Jalama) crossing to the West Bank, north of Jenin, and was shot dead, the Defense Ministry said. No one else was injured, police said.

A bomb squad unit was called to the scene to check for explosives on the terrorist’s person and in the area.

The terrorist, Muhammad Zakarna, 16, from the nearby village of Kabatiya, had approached the checkpoint with a carton of Krembos, the Defense Ministry said.

“He suddenly threw down the carton, pulled out a knife, and started running at the security personnel staffing the checking zone of the crossing,” the ministry said.

A guard spotted the terrorist running between cars waiting to cross the checkpoint and shot him from short range.

Kamil Abu Rukon, head of the Crossings Authority, praised the swift actions of the civilian guard, saying he saved lives. “We practiced this and similar scenarios many times recently due to the increase in security threats,” Rukon said. “Security personnel functioned exactly as we expected them to,” he added.

The Gilboa crossing sees heavy traffic on weekends, when thousands of Israelis head to Jenin to shop. Abu Rukon said the attack most of all “first hurt Palestinians and the Palestinian economy.”

Earlier on Saturday, a Jewish man said that an Arab attempted to stab him near the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, north of the Old City, police said.

While walking on Nablus Road, the Israeli said he suddenly “heard a scream, turned around and saw the suspect with a knife in his hand, who then attempted to stab him,” according to a complaint filed with Jerusalem police. The man said he was able to wrestle the knife away from the attacker, who then fled.

Police have the weapon and were searching the area for suspects.

On Friday, police thwarted a terrorist attack in the capital’s south eastern Nof Zion neighborhood after receiving reports of a suspicious man eyeing Jewish houses.

Border Police officers arrived and started questioning the man, a 21-year-old resident of the adjacent Jebl Mukaber neighborhood, and saw that his right hand was clenched.

The officers distracted him, and saw that he had a knife up his sleeve, and so arrested him.

In south Tel Aviv on Saturday, police thwarted a potential stabbing attack. A teenage male from the Hebron area was arrested while holding a screwdriver, district police said.

Around 3 p.m., they received a call about a suspicious young man seen in the area of Etzel Street in the Hatikva neighborhood, Tel Aviv police said.

Officers found the suspect – a 17-year-old resident of the Palestinian village of Yatta – holding a screwdriver while standing on the corner of Etzel and Bar-Lev streets. Police arrested the teen, who is now undergoing questioning, they said. No injuries were reported.

Overnight Thursday, the IDF and the Border Police arrested 10 wanted security suspects in West Bank raids, most of them Hamas members. Two of the suspects allegedly took part in unorganized terrorist activities and violent disturbances.

Arrests were made in Talluza, northeast of Nablus, where the IDF nabbed a Hamas member; in A-Ram, adjacent to Ramallah, where a Hamas operative was arrested; and Beitunya, southwest of Ramallah, where a third Hamas member was arrested.

Additional arrests were carried out in the Ayda refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, Shawawra, northeast of Bethlehem, and Sheikh Sa’ad, northeast of the city.

Security personnel also raided a building in Hebron, arresting a Hamas member there, and made arrests in two nearby villages.                                           (The Jerusalem Post)

Sixth victim dies 1 year after grisly terror attack on Jerusalem synagogue

Rabbi Yehiel Rothman, 55, died on Saturday from wounds sustained almost a year ago in the terrorist attack at the Bnei Torah synagogue in Jerusalem’s haredi Har Nof neighborhood.

Four other rabbis, Aryeh Kupinsky, 43, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, Kalman Ze’ev Levine, 55, and Moshe Twersky, 59, also residents of Har Nof, were all killed in what became known as the Har Nof massacre

The attack was perpetrated by two cousins, Uday Abu Jamal and Ghassan Abu Jamal from Jebl Mukaber in east Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. They entered the synagogue shortly after 7 a.m. and attacked the men at prayer with knives, meat cleavers and a pistol.

Policeman Zidan Saif, 30, died from wounds sustained when he was attacked by the terrorists after he arrived at the scene of the incident.

Rothman, originally from Canada, was severely wounded in the attack and never regained consciousness before he died.

During the course of the attack, Rothman is reported to have thrown objects at the terrorists and tried to fight them before he himself was killed.

He worked in the State Comptroller’s Office, but would pray and study at the Bnei Torah synagogue and study center. He was a regular participant in the 6:25 morning prayer service at the synagogue and served as one of the service coordinators.

“He was one of the most special people in the community,” a spokesman for the community said following his death.

“He always had a smile on his face. He was much loved and his death is yet another blow to the community which suffered such a harsh blow last year.”

Rabbi Ephraim Stein, 57, was at the morning prayer service in the synagogue which was targeted by the terrorists on that day last November.

Stein knew Rothman well and they had prayed together at the same service for many years.

“He was very cheerful, very outgoing, full of life and he was always enthusiastic about everything he did,” Stein told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday night.

“He would actually sprint to synagogue in the morning, pray and then go to work, while in the evening he would come and study Torah.”

Stein said that in one of his recent visits to the hospital where Rothman was being treated he sensed that he was aware that people were with him in the room.

“The hospital staff said that at times he was more aware of his surroundings than others, even though he was in a coma,” said Stein.

“He looked to me to be very peaceful, he looked like a “tzaddik,” a righteous person.”

According to Stein, Rothman’s wife in the year since the attack spent much of her time at her husband’s bed side, while taking care of the children who remain at home.

She has also spoken to the community, together with the widows of the four other men, about her life since the attack and about maintaining one’s faith in such circumstances.

Stein himself said that he has returned to normal life since the attack.

“I thank God for every day he gives me life and health and I try to be deserving of this gift,” the rabbi said.

Writing on Facebook on Saturday night, one of Rothman’s daughter’s, Yaffa, said that her father “was murdered by inhumane beats.”

She added, “He fought them and saved others. May his memory be a blessing.”

Yisrael, one of Rothman’s sons eulogized his father recalling his dedication to religious life.

“Father, you dedicated yourself, all your life, to serving God continuously, with happiness,” he said.

“You loved everyone and you never saw bad in anyone.

“Father, you gave us a Torah education, you taught us not to chase after money and wealth but Torah and mitzvot,” he continued.

Father, I want to thank you on behalf of myself and the whole family for everything you gave us, for taking care of us and loving us

And educating us in Torah and truth, and in the merit of this we succeeded in standing this past year in faith and accept the judgement with love and to believe that God does everything for the good,” he said in tears.

“Ask God to give strength to mother and to all of us so that we may stand up to these tests, and  to say to God please end our suffering.”

Speaking at the funeral ceremony,  Rabbi Yitzhak Mordechai, head of the Bnei Torah community, said that Rothman’s death, and the other victims of the attack itself and the recent wave of violence, were a reminder that only faith in God could help the Jewish people.

“All those who are always certain in “the power and strength of my hand,” are now powerless in the face of the terrible slaughter that we see every morning afternoon and evening,” said Rubin.

“The Iron Dome [anti-rocket system] does not help against the knives of these terrible  terrorists. You can’t shoot them down. The only thing that helps is to wear a “kipa,” a yarmulke, and recognize that there is a Director of creation,” the rabbi said.

He added however that the security services do vital work but that it should never be forgotten that “nothing that happens to us is happenstance, but is to alert us and show us that there is a guiding hand to the world.”                                                      (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Arab Paraglides Into Syria in Apparent Attempt to Join Rebel Group

A 23-year-old Israeli Arab paraglided over the border into Syria Saturday night in an apparent attempt to join the civil war.

During the night Saturday, Israeli military forces, including fighter jets, were seen deployed in the Golan Heights. The Israeli censor banned reporting on the incident until Sunday morning.

Israeli military lookouts identified a glider crossing the border into Syrian territory at 5 P.M. on Saturday. Large military forces were rushed to the scene. Aircrafts flew overhead in an attempt to identify the landing site.

“We don’t know all the details, but apparently it was a 23-year-old Arab Israeli from Jaljulia, which did what he did intentionally and was picked up there,” IDF Spokesman Brigadier General Moti Almoz told military reporters. “We don’t know if people were waiting for him there, but we estimate that whoever did this kind of thing – against the direction of gliding – did so on purpose.”

The IDF and the Shin Bet are involved in the incident’s investigation.

According to a source in the Israeli defense establishment, when the initial report that a manned glider crossed the border came in, it was initially suspected that a paraglider was inadvertently carried over the border by winds, and paragliding clubs were contacted to see if anyone went missing.                                            (Ha’aretz)

Hebrew speaking-ISIS jihadi threatens Israel, Jews worldwide in new video

The Islamic fundamentalist organization known as Islamic State released a video Friday, showing one of its jihadi militants threatening to attack Israelis in Hebrew, promising that “soon there will not be one Jew left in Jerusalem.”

ISIS’s Syrian branch posted the clip to Youtube, depicting a masked terrorist, dressed in military fatigues and holding a rifle, speaking Hebrew with an Arabic accent, while making ominous threats against the Jewish State.

“We will enter al-Aksa mosque as conquerors, using our cars as bombs to strike the Jewish ramparts,” the ISIS militant said.

“Do what you will in the meantime until we reach you,” the jihadi continues. “Then we will charge you ten-fold for the crimes” you have committed against the Palestinian people.

“We assure you that soon there will not be a single Jew left in Jerusalem and throughout the country,” adding “we will move to eradicate the disease” of the Jewish people “worldwide.”

According to a new report by The Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), Islamic State has launched a media campaign releasing a series of videos in support of terror attacks and encouraging Palestinians to carry out more.

Islamic State does not have an operational presence on the ground in Israel, but  its propaganda over the Internet has proved influential, with a handful of Israelis joining the fundamentalist movement in recent months.

For now, Islamic State is more of an observer to the violence waging in Israel as local groups such as Hamas have the advantage in claiming the terror as its own because of proximity and its experience waging war against Israel, not only in words                                         (Jerusalem Post)

‘Preparing for strike, Israel breached Iranian air space in 2012’

Did Israel launch an aerial “dry run” in Iran amid the Islamic republic’s secret nuclear talks with the U.S.? The Wall Street Journal on Friday quoted White House officials as claiming that Israeli aircraft violated Iranian air space in 2012, as part of what the U.S. perceived as preparation for an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

According to unnamed Washington officials, Israeli aircraft flew in and out of Iran in what some believed was practice for a commando raid on Iran’s Fordo facility.

U.S. officials were “worried that Israel might ignite a regional war” and that “all hell [would break] loose,” the paper quoted officials as saying.

The report was part of an extensive investigative piece on the crisis of mutual mistrust between Israel and the U.S. under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Wall Street Journal asserted that the U.S. closely monitored Israel’s military activity and eavesdropped on secret Israeli communications after learning of the 2012 flight, worried that Israel might learn of the secret diplomacy efforts with Iran and sabotage them.

According to the report, in the summer of 2012, Israeli officials asked the U.S. for weapons and military equipment that would be useful particularly in a covert mission in Iran, namely V-22 Ospreys, ideal for dropping commandos behind enemy lines, and bunker-busting bombs.

“Netanyahu wanted somebody in the administration to show acquiescence, if not approval for a military strike,” the paper quoted Gary Samore, Obama’s former White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction as saying. “The message from the Obama administration was, ‘We think this is a big mistake.'”

Ultimately, the White House decided not to provide Israel with the equipment it sought.

In a recording broadcast on Channel 2 in August, former Defense Minister Ehud Barak said potential Israeli strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities were blocked three separate times in the years leading up to the nuclear agreement, stressing that the Israeli government, headed by Netanyahu, had come close to approving the strike on more than one occasion.

The timing of the Wall Street Journal report was not coincidental, some Israeli experts contended. Though the defense establishment declined to comment on the report, experts believe that by revealing they knew about the Israeli mission, the American administration wished to flex muscles ahead of two key meetings planned for the near future — one between Obama and Netanyahu next month, and the other between Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and his American counterpart Ashton Carter next week.                                                                        ( Israel Hayom )

Israeli Spy Sats Keep Sharp Eye on Russian Forces in Syria

Israel’s high-resolution eyes in space are keeping close track of Russian efforts to fortify the flailing regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as evidenced by imagery obtained by Defense News from just one satellite.

Images captured earlier this month from the Eros-B, a dual-use imaging satellite owned and operated by ImageSat International, reveal high operational tempo at Latakia International Airport, where Moscow has based some 12 Su-25 fighters, a similar amount of Su-24 bombers, 16 Mi-35 attack helicopters and a small amount of Su-30 and Su-34 aircraft.

Satellite imagery dated Oct. 3, 2015 shows extensive Russian presence in Latakia International Airport. Four Sukhoi-34 advanced strike fighters on taxiway. (Photo: ImageSat International)

Outsized Antonov 124 and Ilyushin Il-76 cargo aircraft are seen offloading additional cargo, all of which is protected by at least one SAM-22 surface-to-air missile system.

In an image dated Oct. 10, support vehicles and open cockpit canopies indicate high levels of alert while another image taken on the same day shows a foursome of Su-30 attack fighters in so-called fast launch positions at the end of the runway.

Sources here note that as sharp as the imagery of Eros-B may seem, the satellite actually represents the low end of Israel’s Earth orbiting arsenal.

Electro-optic and radar imagery taken respectively from Israel’s Ofeq family of spacecraft and TecSAR synthetic aperture radar satellites provide much higher resolution and yield a far greater amount of data for Israeli intelligence analysts, they say.

“Eros is a commercial derivative of the much more powerful military assets that the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] and the intelligence community are using every day and every night,” said a former official of the Defense Ministry’s military space bureau.

“Each satellite can revisit the same point of interest at least daily. And when you have quite a lot of satellites, it means your coverage of that area is fairly persistent. The impact of these capabilities are significant,” said the former official, who did not agree to be named due to his ongoing work as an officer in the IDF reserves.

IDF officers and their Russian counterparts plan to hold their second round of so-called deconfliction talks in Moscow later next month, with an eye toward establishing a mechanism to prevent unintended consequences in the event that Russian and Israeli aircraft are flying in the same airspace.                                          (Defense News)

US to reportedly cut aid to Palestinians by $80m in ‘message’ to Abbas

The US State Department cut its economic aid to the Palestinian Authority from $370 million to $290 million annually, in a reported “message” to PA President Mahmoud Abbas over recent Palestinian incitement amid a relentless wave of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces, according to al-Monitor.

The 22 percent cut for the 2015 fiscal year comes amid rising criticism from Congress to act on inciting statements from PA officials in recent weeks in the wake of almost 50 separate terror attacks in just over three weeks.

On Thursday, the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously called on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel.

The non-binding resolution passed after a hearing on Palestinian incitement says “the Palestinian Authority has not fully lived up to its prior agreements with Israel to end incitement and should do more to prepare the Palestinian people for peace with Israel.”

It “urges President [Mahmoud] Abbas and Palestinian Authority officials to discontinue all official incitement and exert influence to discourage anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement in Palestinian civil society.”

The hearing was convened by committee chairman, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)

“This wave of violence isn’t some random flare-up,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the top Democrat on the committee, at the hearing, “It’s the product of years and years of anti-Israel propaganda and indoctrination — some of which has been actively promoted by Palestinian Authority officials and institutions.”

Palestinian attacks on Israelis have become a near-daily occurrence in recent weeks, amid tensions over the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam. Driving the tensions in part have been Palestinian allegations that Israel is planning to alter the regulations at the site, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and allow Jews to pray there.

Abbas has himself leveled such charges, which Netanyahu vehemently denies.

While Abbas hasn’t openly endorsed the attacks, he hasn’t condemned them either, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused him of inciting violence by calling for protests against Israel. At the UN last month, Abbas accused Israel of sending “extremists” into the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Last week, he alleged Israel was executing Palestinians in cold blood, and cited as an example a Palestinian teenager who had in fact perpetrated a terror attack, was alive, and was being treated in an Israeli hospital.

During a September speech in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Abbas hailed Palestinian rioters on the Temple Mount, saying any blood spilled in defense of the holy site was “pure.”

“The Al-Aqsa Mosque is ours. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is ours as well. They have no right to desecrate the mosque with their dirty feet; we won’t allow them to do that,” he added.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee resolution came a day after two top congressional appropriators, a Republican and a Democrat, warned Abbas in a letter that US funds were contingent on tamping down incitement during the current wave of violence.

“We implore you to refrain from highly inflammatory language and to redouble your efforts to uphold nonviolence,” wrote Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), the chairwoman of the Foreign Operations subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the committee and subcommittee’s top Democrat.

“As you are well aware, any US assistance generously provided by the American people to the Palestinian Authority is predicated on the PA’s adherence to the precepts of the Oslo Accords as well as countering terrorism and the incitement of violence.”                                                 (The Times of Israel)

Israeli Arabs Demonstrate for Israel at Tel Aviv U: ‘I’m a Muslim and I Have No Other Country’

Several Muslim students gathered for a demonstration at the University of Tel Aviv, waving Israeli flags and holding banners with slogans against terrorism, Israeli news website 0404 reported on Friday.

One of the signs read, in Hebrew, “You are Palestinians — so you’re my enemy.” Another read: “I’m a Muslim and I have no other country.”

Another held a sign that read: “We are against violence and whoever supports violence doesn’t represent me, even if they’re a Knesset member,” referring to Israel’s parliament.

One of the demonstrators told 0404: “This is where we live and it’s good for us. We live together with our brothers the Jews.”

“There are those who seek to destroy and we won’t give them a hand,” he continued, “also not to the members of Knesset who incite. No Arab in the world has got a place better to live than Israel.”                                    (The Algemeiner)

Abbas’s brother-in-law gets life-saving heart surgery in Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s brother-in-law underwent life-saving heart surgery at a private hospital in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Hebrew media reported Thursday.

He was hospitalized at the Assuta Medical Center in northern Tel Aviv’s Ramat Hachayal neighborhood. The surgery was successful and he was said to be recovering in intensive care.

Despite recent tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel approved the entry of Abbas’s wife’s brother to receive treatment in Tel Aviv, Walla reported. The report didn’t name Abbas’s brother-in-law.

In recent days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly accused Abbas of falsely asserting that Israel intends to change the status quo governing access at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, and has charged Abbas has helped “incite” a series of Palestinian terror attacks on Israelis. Abbas last week claimed Israel “executed” a Palestinian teenager in cold blood; the 13-year-old in question is alive, and is being treated in an Israeli hospital having participated in a terror attack in which an Israeli boy his age was critically injured. The PA leader has been refusing to meet with Netanyahu to try to tamp down the violence.

A hospital spokeswoman declined comment on the Walla report, saying that according to its policy “we don’t discuss patients hospitalized or not hospitalized at the medical center.” Abbas’s brother-in-law’s room at Assuta was protected by security guards, the Hebrew reports said.

Last summer, Amina Abbas, the Palestinian leader’s wife, was hospitalized at Assuta.

Her stay in a private room at the clinic was kept under wraps and security guards were stationed to maintain her privacy round the clock. Other patients were unaware of the identity of the VIP in the private room and Hebrew media said hospital staff members were evasive when questioned.

Last year Israel also treated the sister of Hamas senior official Moussa Abu Marzouk for cancer. The hospitalization was one in a number of cases of relatives of Hamas leaders being treated in Israel despite the terror group’s avowed goal of destroying Israel.

The 60-year-old woman, who was not named by medical officials, suffered from advanced-stage cancer.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s mother-in-law, daughter and granddaughter also have received medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.                        (The Times of Israel)

Daylight savings will set Israeli clocks back an hour

Saturday night marks the beginning of daylight saving time in Israel.

At 2:00 am, clocks will be set back one hour, allowing for an extra hour’s night sleep.

In the past, there were problems with smartphones, which were supposed to update the time automatically but often did not. It is suggested that the time zone on smartphones is set to “Jerusalem” in order to avoid confusion.                  (Jerusalem Post)

American Jewish leaders – Speak up now!

by Isi Leibler             The Jerusalem Post

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Candidly-Speaking-American-Jewish-leaders-Speak-up-now-428667

It is now evident that, by and large, the Jewish establishment has adopted a policy of deafening silence in relation to the virulent one-sided political attacks and sins of omission by the Obama administration concerning our barbaric adversaries.

It is only the outspoken Zionist Organization of America and minor fringe groups that have been directly speaking out against the Obama administration’s intensified anti-Israel rhetoric.

Until now, I had a nagging suspicion that the failure of American Jewish leaders to confront the biased Obama administration attacks on Israel was not merely a reasoned strategic approach. But aware of their devotion to Israel and having witnessed their former stalwart defense of Jewish interests, I was reluctant to conclude that fear was their primary consideration.

But the ongoing silence by the Jewish establishment in relation to the current disgraceful behavior of the Obama administration, its secretary of state and State Department spokesmen is incomprehensible.

Today Israeli Jews are confronted by frenzied, psychotic young Arabs who have been brainwashed into believing that murdering innocent Jews will deliver them directly to paradise and transform them into glorious martyrs. This barbarism, inculcated by hideous indoctrination from kindergarten and subsequently nurtured in the mosques and throughout Palestinian social media, is creating monsters. It is publicly sanctified by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has whipped up a frenzy on the insanely false allegation that Israel is bent on destroying al-Aksa mosque and building a Jewish temple on its ruins.

The demonic madness is fortified by the heroic profile the PA adopts in relation to the killing sprees and which Abbas refuses to condemn. The perpetrators are also aware that if they survive, the PA will pay them generous salaries in prison and provide pensions for their families.

Under such circumstances, one would surely expect leaders of the civilized world to condemn these Arab murders of innocents. But aside from lip service condemning “violence,” world leaders and global organizations have, at best, adopted a sickening moral-relativist position in which Jewish victims are equated with their murderers.

Until now, the US took pride in defending Israel and proclaiming its shared values and common democratic Judeo-Christian heritage. Even though there were occasional policy differences between the countries, Israel considered itself a true ally of the US, irrespective of whether a Democrat or Republican occupied the Oval Office.

Since Barack Obama was elected president, in his obsession to build bridges between the US and Islam he sought to demonstrate that there is daylight between Israel and America. His Third World outlook also led to his abandoning long-term US allies and groveling to Islamic fundamentalist terrorist states like Iran, mistakenly believing that appeasing them will make them more moderate.

Over the past month we have witnessed the climax of the US political abandonment of Israel.

Obama, who repeatedly condemned Netanyahu for remarks made in the heat of an election even after he had clarified and withdrawn them, has emboldened the Palestinian extremists by failing to utter a single condemnation of Abbas for his vicious ongoing incitement and calls for Jewish blood.

Worse still was Secretary of State John Kerry, frequently referred to as an “unguided missile,” who made a series of inexcusable, demented remarks.

He refused to apportion the blame for the killings and even hinted that the Israelis had brought the violence upon themselves. He related to “violence on both sides.” Both sides? He claimed that the Palestinian killings had been ignited by Palestinian “frustration” over the failure to negotiate a two-state solution and the “massive increase of settlements over the course of the last few years.” This bears no relevance to the facts as settlement building in the past few years has been dramatically reduced. The frenzied killers are unquestionably motivated by the incitement and lies being promoted insisting that Jews plan to destroy al-Aksa.

Kerry also demanded that the status quo at the Temple Mount be upheld “in word and deed,” knowing full well that this has constantly been the policy of the Netanyahu government. Such ambiguous statements gives credence to the Palestinian lies.

State Department spokesman John Kirby even accused Israel of violating the status quo on the Temple Mount – and thus effectively also fanning the flames – and called on “both leaders” to combat the incitement which leads to a “cycle of violence.”

He was subsequently forced to retract but the damage could not be undone. He also stated that the US had “seen some reports of security activity that could indicate the potential excessive use of force” against the psychotic killers.

To top off these outrageous outbursts, Obama made a statement assiduously avoiding use of the term “terrorist” and patronizingly endorsed Israel’s right to “protect its citizens from knife attacks” and “random violence.” He then spat in our faces by effectively blaming both Netanyahu and Abbas for the incitement.

For Israel’s one true ally to descend to such Orwellian depths as placing the Israelis in the same category as religious fanatics orchestrating a killing spree is utterly contemptible and encourages the barbarians to accelerate their murderous activity, and the US administration thus assumes a share of responsibility for the murder of innocent Jews that will no doubt transpire in the days to come.

To compound matters, the White House critiques also serve as a green light for Europe to pressure Israel into making further unilateral concessions which would undermine its security.

Under diplomatic constraints, Netanyahu has instructed ministers not to respond to the shameful remarks by the administration and its spokesmen.

But such restraints do not apply to American Jewish leaders. In the face of such a reprehensible attitude by the Obama administration to Israel at a time when psychotic murderers kill Jews in the streets, one would have expected the American Jewish community’s leadership to condemn their government and launch public protests.

American Jews continuously stress that in the US they can speak out as Jews without fear. Yet when it comes to criticizing Obama, despite the fact that the majority of the nation and both houses of Congress support Israel, a deafening silence envelops the Jewish leadership.

I make these remarks in my capacity as a former Diaspora Jewish leader rather than as an Israeli. I was head of the Australian Jewish community and chairman of the governing board of the World Jewish Congress and have personally experienced the enormous pressures which can be exerted against a leader to be politically correct and avoid confronting his government when it adopts positions which lack a moral compass and harm the interests of the Jewish people.

But there is a time when leaders must speak out or be damned. The US refuses to pressure Abbas to cease calling for the murder of Jews and instead engages in moral equivalence, holding victims and perpetrators equally responsible for the violence. No American administration has ever behaved in such an appalling manner toward Israel.

Yet the sole response of the Jewish establishment, as manifested by the major Jewish religious movements in conjunction with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is to observe a “Sabbath of Jewish Solidarity.” This reflects the solidarity of American Jews with Israel during these difficult times but it is certainly is not an acceptable response to the administration’s lies and distortions.

Unless American leaders speak up now, they will be justly accused of following in the footsteps of the late American Jewish leader and rabbi Stephen Wise, who in 1944, under pressure from Roosevelt, remained silent when Jews were being murdered by the Nazis.

It would be outrageous if a response is being withheld out of a desperate desire to maintain consensus at the lowest common denominator. Likewise, if the motivation is not to distress deluded Jewish liberal contributors or a concern about coveted access to the White House, these factors are simply irrelevant under the current circumstances.

Principled Jewish supporters of Israel must speak out and protest now, even if this means dividing the community.

If Jews remain silent in the face of the libels directed against the Jewish state by the administration, aside from failing to provide an example for their children, they will be betraying their responsibility as Jewish leaders.

The Palestinian Jihad: Lies, Lies and More Lies

This is Not an “Intifada”

by Bassam Tawil                      The Gatestone Institute

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6754/palestinian-jihad-lies

First, we are not seeing anything “popular.” We are not seeing, as before, thousands of Palestinians participating in the violence or protests.

It is just another wave of terrorism: targeting Jews for being Jews. The terrorists and their apologists do not distinguish between a Jew living in the city of Beersheba, and a Jew from a West Bank settlement. For the Palestinian leaders and media, these Jews are all “settlers” living in “occupied territories.”

The appropriate term for the current wave of terrorism is “jihad”. The attacks on Jews in Israel and the West Bank are part of the global jihad that has been waged for many years against Jews in particular, non-Muslims in general, and even against other Muslims who might not agree with a differing version of Islam.

This jihad is not aimed at “ending occupation” or protesting against misery and checkpoints. The terrorists do not see a difference between a “left wing Jew” and a “right wing Jew.” They do not ask their victims about their political affiliation before knifing them.

In a grotesque rewrite of history, UNESCO declared that two Jewish holy sites, Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs, were Muslim holy sites.

This is a wave of terrorism based on lies. Palestinian leaders, including Abbas his officials in the Palestinian Authority and his Fatah faction, have been lying to us for months. They told Palestinians that the Jews are “invading” and “desecrating” Islamic holy sites with the purpose of destroying them. Abbas and his officials are urging Muslims to join the jihad against the Jews.

The leaders are now telling us that most of the terrorists were, in fact, innocent civilians who were shot dead by Israelis while on their way to buy food or going to work. Lying has become an integral part of the jihad against Jews. The campaign of lies, distortion and fabrications is not less serious than the terror attacks.

This is yet another phase of the worldwide jihad against all the “infidels” and “enemies of Islam.” Those who are murdering Jews today do not hesitate to murder other non-Muslims tomorrow, especially those who are seen as Israel’s friends, such as the U.S.

Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are calling it a “peaceful popular resistance.” They are referring, of course, to the latest wave of stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks against the Jews in Israel.

In the view of our leaders — and, unfortunately, many in the international community — this is a “peaceful popular resistance,” an uprising, or an “intifada,” like two previous uprisings we had in 1987 and 2000.

What is happening these days in the Palestinian territories and Israel, however, is anything but a “peaceful popular resistance.” First, we are not seeing anything “popular.” We are not seeing, as before, thousands of Palestinians participating in the violence or protests. These attacks are not protests launched by villagers, residents of refugee camps and members of professional unions in the Palestinian territories.

What we are seeing are pure terrorist attacks carried out mostly by impressionable young men and women whose hearts and minds have been poisoned by the inflammatory rhetoric and incitement of Palestinian leaders, mosques, the media, Facebook and other social media. The terrorists who carry knives or firearms to murder Jews are usually, it seems, disturbed youngsters, who have been fired up by the pervasive atmosphere of hate poured over them daily by their leaders and these leaders’ media outlets. The current terrorists are not part of an armed group such as the Tanzim or the Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, nor a “popular resistance,” a street gang, or any organized movement.

Contrary to what Palestinian leaders have been telling us, not to mention the rest of the world, these terrorists do not believe in any form of “peaceful and popular resistance” against Israel. After all, there is nothing peaceful or popular about stabbing or shooting Jews waiting at a bus stop or driving their cars on their way to work or back home. Surely, there is nothing peaceful about murdering a Jewish couple in front of their four children, or stabbing and seriously wounding a 13-year-old boy riding his bicycle on the streets of Jerusalem.

This is, bluntly, just another wave of terrorism: targeting Jews for being Jews. The terrorists and their apologists do not distinguish between a Jew living in the city of Beersheba, and a Jew from a settlement in the West Bank. In the eyes of the Palestinian leaders and media, these Jews are all “settlers” living in “occupied territories.” To many of them, and as they repeatedly tell us, all of Israel is “occupied territory.”

Official Palestinian maps continue to present Palestine as occupying all of Israel. And there are continual attempts erase history Jewish presence. Last July, Rachel’s Tomb, the burial site of a Jewish Matriarch was attacked by explosives launched from slingshots. And just last week Joseph’s Tomb, the burial site of a Jewish Patriarch, was torched. These are the same methods al-Qaeda and Da’esh (ISIS) have been using in Bamiyan and Palmyra to try to obliterate any evidence of a pre-Islamic presence other ancient sites. These attack were accompanied by requests from six Arab states — Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Tunisia, Morocco ad the United Arab Emirates — to have UNESCO declare the Rachel’s Tomb, and Western Wall — a retaining wall and all that is left of the Jews’ Second Temple that the Romans destroyed in 70 CE — part of the Muslim Temple Mount under Palestinian control. The last request was removed before the vote, but in a grotesque rewrite of history, UNESCO did declare that two other Jewish holy sites, Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs, were Muslim holy sites.

In addition, the official media of the Western-funded Palestinian Authority have been referring to the Jewish victims of the current wave of terrorism as “settlers.” A 73-year-old woman who lives in the Western part of the city and who was stabbed at Jerusalem’s central bus station two weeks ago was described as a “settler.” Similarly, two Jews who were stabbed and wounded in the city of Ra’anana, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, were also described by Abbas’s media outlets as “settlers.” Their city, Ra’anana, well within the “1967 line,” has also been described by most Palestinian media outlets and journalists as a “settlement.”

What does all this show? The answer is very simple: Most Palestinians continue to see Israel as one big settlement that needs to be uprooted and destroyed. It also shows that these Palestinians do not draw a distinction between a Jew living a West Bank settlement and a Jew living in an Israeli city inside Israel. The Jewish victims of this wave of terrorism are all “settlers” and “colonialists” who deserved what happened to them because they are “living on stolen land.” This is the message that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other Palestinian groups are sending to the Palestinians and the rest of the world: that “settlers” are “legitimate” targets that deserve to be slaughtered and shot dead by a people fighting for “independence and freedom.”

The appropriate term for the current wave of terrorism is “jihad” (holy war). The attacks on Jews in Israel and the West Bank are part of the global jihad that has been waging for many years against Jews in particular, non-Muslims in general and even against other Muslims who might not agree with a differing version of Islam.

Almost all the terrorists involved in these recent attacks are affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two jihadi groups whose main goal is to destroy Israel by murdering and intimidating Jews. Like Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, the two Palestinian groups are also seeking to create an Islamic caliphate governed by Islamic sharia law.

This jihad is not aimed at “ending occupation” or protesting against misery and checkpoints. Rather, it is a jihad designed to drive the Jews out of the region. Period. The terrorists and their sponsors do not see a difference between an Israeli soldier and an Israeli baby. They do not see a difference between a “left wing Jew” and a “right wing Jew.” The terrorists do not ask their victims about their political affiliation before sticking a knife into them.

This is a wave of terrorism based on lies, lies and more lies. Palestinian leaders, including Abbas and his Fatah faction, have been lying to us for months about the nature of the visits of Jews to the Haram al-Sharif, or Temple Mount. They told Palestinians that the Jews are “invading” and “desecrating” Islamic holy sites with the purpose of destroying them. By doing so, Abbas and his officials in the Palestinian Authority and Fatah have actually been urging Muslims to join the jihad against the Jews.

After the wave of terrorism began, the Palestinian leaders continued to lie about the circumstances surrounding the death of the terrorists. The leaders are now telling us that most of the terrorists were, in fact, innocent civilians who were shot dead by Israel while they were on their way to buy food for their families or going to work. The Palestinian leaders are lying when they tell us that the terrorists were killed as part of a new Israeli policy of “field executions” against young Palestinian men and women. Lying and distorting the truth has become an integral part of the jihad against Jews. The campaign of lies, distortion and fabrications is not less serious than the terror attacks. There is no difference between a Palestinian leader who incites and lies, and a terrorist who grabs a knife and takes to the street to murder a Jew.

It is time for us to open our eyes and see the reality as it is: this is yet another phase of the worldwide jihad against all the “infidels” and “enemies of Islam.” Those who are murdering Jews today do not hesitate to murder other non-Muslims tomorrow, especially those who are seen as Israel’s friends such as the U.S. and most nations in the West. So let us put things in context and start calling the wave of terrorism by its real name, not an “intifada” or a “peaceful popular resistance.” It is a jihad.

Stabbing of Israeli Bedouin soldier underlines complexities of conflict

http://www.timesofisrael.com/stabbing-of-israeli-bedouin-soldier-underlines-complexities-of-conflict/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=c395bb6dce-2015_10_24&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_adb46cec92-c395bb6dce-54591377#

Last Sunday, a Bedouin terrorist attacked fellow Israelis in Beersheba bus station. On Friday, a Palestinian attacked an IDF soldier who also turned out to be a Bedouin. Confused?

by Judah Ari Gross                        The Times of Israel

As Palestinian terror attacks wash through the country, and Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify in the West Bank and at the Gaza border, they also bring to the forefront the complexities of the conflict, where it is not always a case of Muslims against Jews.

Case in point: On Friday morning, a Palestinian Muslim stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier. The soldier, however, was also a Muslim — a Bedouin soldier and a member of the army’s tracker unit.

Speaking later in the day, the soldier’s commander called the 26-year-old, who was lightly-to-moderately injured, “a real professional.”

The commander, a captain, has served as a senior tracker in the Etzion and Binyamin Brigades in the West Bank for three years and asked not to be named in this article. Neither has the injured Bedouin soldier been named.

He said his subordinate lives in the small Bedouin town of Lakiya in southern Israel. He is “married and father to a little girl.”

In the summer of 2014 the wounded soldier took part in search efforts for three missing Israeli boys — Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach — who were kidnapped and later found murdered by Palestinian terrorists.

“During last summer’s Operation Brother’s Keeper, he was part of the team that located the three boys who were killed,” his commander said.

On Friday, the soldier was part of a team charged with helping Palestinians enter Israel to take part in the ongoing olive harvest.

“They were checking the Palestinians before letting them into Israel. At some point, one of the Palestinians took out a knife and attempted to stab one of the IDF trackers in the neck. The tracker defended himself, shooting his assailant two times in the shoulder. Other forces in the area shot the attacker as he turned to escape — two bullets in his leg,” the commander said.

The military’s tracker unit is made up almost entirely of Bedouins, who are specially trained to locate footprints and to “read” the landscape in order to determine if any individuals — possibly enemies — have passed through.

IDF trackers work primarily on Israel’s borders, monitoring the land next to fences for evidence of infiltration.

“There are trackers in all of the regional commands — in Northern, Southern and Central Command — along all of Israel’s borders,” the commander said.

In the West Bank, however, they work more to locate the perpetrators of an attack after they have already run off.

“Our mission is to arrive at the scene of the incident, locating the tracks of the terrorist, and run after them in pursuit until we are able to lead additional forces straight to the terrorist’s home,” he said.

Muslim and Christian Arab citizens of Israel, including Bedouins, are permitted to serve in the IDF, but are not required to do so in the way that Jewish Israelis are. (Some 22% of Israeli citizens are not Jewish.)

“We will continue to carry out the mission. We started enlisting in the IDF in 1948 with the creation of the country. My father was in the military, my uncle — Amos Yarkoni — like me also ‘grew up’ in the IDF, serving as head of Shaked Reconnaissance Battalion,” the commander added.

Amos Yarkoni, born Abd el-Majid Hidr, was a Muslim Bedouin from northern Israel who befriended iconic Israeli military leader Moshe Dayan and joined the IDF in 1948. When he joined the IDF, Yarkoni Hebraicized his name to make his devotion to Israel even clearer.

But Bedouin attitudes towards the state are not homogeneous. Many feel they are discriminated against by the state, and those who serve often refrain from speaking openly about their military service.

The perpetrator of a deadly terrorist attack at Beersheba’s Central Bus Station on Sunday was an Israeli Bedouin, Muhanad Alukabi, from near the town of Hura. Alukabi killed an Israeli soldier and wounded several other Israelis in the attack.

But the commander was quick to point out that parts of the terrorist’s family, including Alukabi’s mother, were originally from the Gaza Strip. “They’re not full Bedouins,” he said.

“The person who carried out the attack in Beersheba brought shame to the Bedouin population,” the captain said, “but that will not impact the community. We are a part of the society. And we will continue to defend the State of Israel.”

This information is compiled by Dr Ron Wiseman, Board Member of the Zionist Council of NSW