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28th August – Latest News in Israel

Palestinians stab IDF soldier at Gush Etzion junction

Two Palestinians stabbed and moderately wounded a soldier by the bus stop at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank on Route 60 on Tuesday evening.

It’s the second such incident on Route 60, where on Monday, near the entrance to the Palestinian village of Beit Einun, a Palestinian stabbed and seriously injured a soldier.

On Tuesday, at the busy junction, where the bus stops are often packed with people, soldiers stopped two Palestinians on foot, who seemed suspicious.

One of the Palestinians stabbed a 19-year-old, who belonged to the Shimshon unit guarding the area. Other soldiers from the unit opened fire and killed the two Palestinians.

Magen David Adom paramedic Jabar said the soldier had facial wounds and was transported to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, which is the closest emergency room to the Gush Etzion Region.

“When we arrived he was conscious and standing,” said Jabar. He added that an IDF medical team treated him at the scene, before he was placed in an ambulance.

Sections of Route 60 were temporarily shut down as a result of the incident.

Gush Etzion Regional Council head Davidi Perl, who arrived at the scene, said that the attack would not deter area residents from continuing with their normal lives.

“We will continue to live here and fight terrorism. We will not give up,” Perl said.

On Sunday, in the Gush Etzion region, a Palestinian stabbed and moderately injured an Israeli civilian near the settlement of Metzad.

The Israeli had gotten out of his vehicle after Palestinians threw rocks at it, and an assailant stabbed him in the chest.                                                (Jerusalem Post)

Israel Air Force strikes Gaza targets following rocket attack on South

The IAF struck two Hamas targets in southern Gaza a few hours after a rocket attack on southern Israel. The IDF Spokesman Unit said that it viewed Hamas as being responsible for all terrorist activities in the Strip.

A rocket exploded in an open area of the Gaza border region in the South earlier Monday evening.

IDF units were searching the area for the projectile. There were no injuries in the attack. Rocket sirens sounded in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council in the area before the rocket fell.

Earlier, citizens in the area reported hearing an explosion.

At the beginning of the month the IDF deployed an Iron Dome missile defense system battery in the southern city of Beersheba.

This is the second rocket to be fired on the area in less than one week, with the last incident occurring last Wednesday.

In recent months an ISIS-affiliated terror group has fired rockets from Gaza at Israel.

The Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigades is responsible for a growing number of rocket attacks from Gaza. It hopes to spark a new war between Hamas and Israel that will weaken Gaza’s rulers and enable the Salafist group to fill the resulting power vacuum.

It was not clear who fired the rocket at Israel on Monday evening.

(Jerusalem Post)

Netanyahu considering revoking residency from east Jerusalem Arabs

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering revoking residency permits from Arabs living in east Jerusalem, according to sources in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which Netanyahu was addressing on Monday.

Such a measure would be taken to deal with the recent spate of terror attacks that has left ten Israelis dead and dozens more wounded. Many of the attackers have hailed from east Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Channel 2 reported Sunday that Netanyahu first brought up the possibility of revoking some rights of Palestinians living in east Jerusalem at a security cabinet meeting two weeks ago.

At the security cabinet meeting, Netanyahu reportedly complained of lawlessness in Palestinian neighborhoods in those outlying areas.

Jerusalem Palestinians are not Israeli citizens, but they hold Israeli-issued blue IDs that grant them permanent resident status.

“We have to think about what to do. There are all sorts of possibilities. But it is impossible to give them all of the rights without having them fulfill all of their responsibilities,” Channel 2 quoted Netanyahu as saying.

Speaking ahead of Monday’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman rejected Netanyahu’s reported interest in revoking east Jerusalem Arab’s residency as “a public relations exercise.”

Liberman said that Netanyahu does not intend to, nor is it possible to, “revoke, across the board, residency from all residents of east Jerusalem.”

“My wish is that we revoke citizenship from all those involved in terror. That is possible, and that is what must be done,” Liberman said.

He said that the fact that the Netanyahu government has failed to even outlaw the Islamic State’s Northern Branch, which Israel holds is behind much of the incitement that has sparked the recent wave of violence, proves that the prime minister’s consideration of revoking residency from east Jerusalem Arabs is not serious.                      (Jerusalem Post)

 20,000 Israelis sue Facebook over incitement to violence by Palestinians

20,000 Israelis have sued the internet giant Facebook in New York state court alleging that the social media platform is intentionally disregarding the widespread incitement and calls for murder of Jews being posted on its web pages by Palestinians, Israeli NGO Shurat Hadin announced on Monday.

The civil complaint, seeking an injunction but no damages, was filed late Sunday US time, but only announced Monday.

A 76 page list of plaintiffs contend that “Facebook’s refusal to remove the flood of extremist videos, statements and cartoons being posted by Palestinians is encouraging imminent violence and fanning the flames of the terrorist attacks that have overwhelmed Israel in the past month. “

The lead plaintiff, Israeli-American Richard Lankin, 76, was a passenger on a Jerusalem bus on October 13 when Palestinian terrorists from east Jerusalem, armed with guns and knives, carried out a brutal attack.

Lankin was shot in the head and stabbed multiple times.

He remains in critical condition, with life-threatening injuries, in a Jerusalem hospital.

Two Israelis were murdered and more than 20 were wounded in the bus attack.

The plaintiffs, who other than Lankin and other Israeli-Americans who were actually hurt, have a debatable chance to sue since they have not yet been harmed and are not citizens, say that the incitement through Facebook endangers all of them and are seeking an injunction to require it to self-monitor and block all racist incitement and calls for violence against Jews in Israel.

Seven Israelis have been murdered and several dozen have been stabbed in the recent wave of terror that is escalating in Israel, says the complaint.

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys Robert Tolchin of New York, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner the director of the Shurat Hadin organization and Asher Perlin of Florida.

The plaintiffs allege that social media, particularly postings by Palestinians on Facebook, “is spurring on the terrorist attacks against Israelis in the past month.”

As the complaint states, the plaintiffs “have been living in the crosshairs of a murderous terrorist rampage carried out by killers who attack people with knives, axes, screwdrivers, cars and Molotov cocktails for no reason other than that the attacker perceives the victims to be Jewish.”

Further it states, “Many of these murderers were motivated to commit their heinous crimes by incitement to murder they read on Facebook—demagogues and leaders exhorting their followers to “slaughter the Jews,” and offering instruction as to the best manner to do so, including even “anatomical charts showing the best places to stab a human being.”

The lawsuit claims that Facebook has a legal and moral obligation to monitor and restrict the racist incitement and calls to violence against Jews, but is refusing to do so, claiming it has no duty to moderate its users’ pages.

The complaint acknowledges that Facebook has established some rules concerning the content it will prohibit, but then alleges these are not sufficient to block the incitement to violence nor adequately enforced by the company.

Also, the complaint recognizes that “Facebook has taken down some of the most extreme calls to murder,” but again complains that this was “only after they were reported by Israelis.”

The plaintiffs argue that Facebook is “far from a neutral or passive social media platform and cannot claim it is a mere bulletin board for other parties’ postings.”

They note that Facebook “utilizes sophisticated algorithms to serve personalized ads, monitor users’ activities and connect them to potential friends” and claims it “has the ability to monitor and block postings by extremists and terrorists urging violence just as it restricts pornography.”

The complaint seeks to overturn past precedents protecting internet service companies from liability for third party postings, claiming that the way Facebook operates, intentionally or not, it functionally has an active involvement in the users’ pages.

Darshan-Leitner stated, “While everyone understands the need to keep the web free, Facebook’s decision to allow this flood of terrorist incitement and calls to murder Jews to continue has crossed all red lines.  Facebook is fanning the flames of the current Palestinian intifada and its refusals to actively monitor and block the incitement to violence is an outrageous abandonment of its obligations to the public.”                     (Jerusalem Post)

American-Israeli victim dies two weeks after brutal attack on Jerusalem bus

Richard Lakin, who was critically wounded in a terrorist attack in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv two weeks ago, succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday.

Lakin, 76, was shot in the head and stabbed in the chest during the attack on a bus in the area of the capital next to the Arab Jebl Mukaber neighborhood, and since the attack was treated at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.

An American-Israeli, he was the third victim to have died as a result of the attack.

Dozens of police officers cordoned off the scene soon after the gun and knife attack on the Egged bus, as Magen David Adom paramedics and ZAKA rescue and recovery personnel rushed the wounded to the hospital and cleaned copious amounts of blood from the No. 78 bus, whose shattered windows had several bullet holes.

Trails of blood could be seen inside and outside the vehicle, as a police forensics team took samples, and hundreds of anxious locals gathered to watch the chaotic scene.

According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, shortly after 10 a.m. the two assailants stopped the bus at the intersection of Olei Hagardom and Moshe Barazim streets, near Jebl Mukaber.

“One of the terrorists shot at passengers from the outside, while his accomplice entered the bus and stabbed five passengers, killing one,” said Rosenfeld several meters from the badly damaged vehicle.

“Our police units that arrived at the scene shot and killed one of the terrorists. The second terrorist was apprehended, and the four victims were taken to the hospital, where another victim later died.”

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) identified one of the terrorists as Baha Alian, 23, from Jebl Mukaber, who is affiliated with Fatah and has a history of extremist statements.

Alian was shot and killed in the attack.

The second terrorist, who has not been named, was described by the Shin Bet as a Hamas operative from Jebl Mukaber, who served time in Israeli prison in 2013 to 2014 due to Hamas-related activities.

He is being questioned by security forces.

Golan Cohen, a middle-aged resident of Armon Hanatziv, said he used his car to block the bus when he saw the attack unfold.

“I noticed that something was wrong, because the bus was standing in the middle of the crosswalk at the junction, and I heard someone shouting something in Arabic,” he said.

“I drove my car to the bus and saw two terrorists, one stabbing people and the other sitting in the driver’s seat, and assumed the one in the driver’s seat was trying to abduct the passengers, so I blocked it with my car.”

Cohen said the terrorist in the driver’s seat then pulled out his gun and pointed it at him.

“When he aimed the gun at me, I decided to move away, and that’s when the police arrived,” he said.

Almost immediately after the attack in Armon Hanatziv, another terrorist struck in the haredi neighborhood of Geula. Security camera footage showed the assailant, Ala Abu Jamal, 33, a resident of Jebl Mukaber in east Jerusalem and a driver for the Bezeq telecommunications company, ram his company car into a group of several people waiting at a bus stop.

(Jerusalem Post)

Jordanians slam Palestinian Authority for rejecting idea of security cameras at Temple Mount

Jordanians on Tuesday criticized the Palestinian Authority for rejecting the idea of installing security cameras at the Temple Mount.

The Jordanians noted that the idea of installing the cameras was aimed at “protecting the Aksa Mosque by documenting what’s happening at the site.”

PA officials have over the past few days dismissed the idea, arguing that Israel would use the cameras to arrest Palestinians “under the pretext of incitement.”

PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said earlier this week that the Israeli-Jordanian agreement to install the cameras, which was reached under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry, was a “trap.”

The Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad quoted Jordanian politicians as denouncing Malki’s remarks as “inappropriate and unfair.” They said that the PA leadership should have relayed its position on the cameras directly to the Jordanian government instead of making such “inflammatory” public remarks.

Adnan Abu Odeh, a veteran Jordanian politician and former advisor to both King Abdullah and King Hussein, said he did not believe that the cameras would serve Israel’s interests, as the PA claims. “The cameras will document everything, including those who want to assault Palestinians or Israelis,” he said. “The cameras will document anyone who caries out an assault or Jews who want to pray there.”

Abu Odeh dismissed Malki’s remarks as “provocative, tasteless and inappropriate.” He said that it was in the interest of the Palestinians to have cameras at the Temple Mount.

Former Jordanian parliament member Bassam Haddadin said he did not know whether the PA leadership shared Malki’s opposition to the installation of the cameras. Noting that it was Jordan that had requested the installation of the cameras, Haddadin demanded that the PA leadership clarify its position on this issue.

Jordanian columnist Musa al-Ma’ayta also criticized Malki’s remarks, saying it was “inappropriate” for a PA minister to make such allegations against Jordan “after all what we did for the sake of the Aksa Mosque.”

Jordanian journalist Awwad al-Khalayla said that Malki’s opposition to the cameras sends a message to the international community that the Palestinians have something to hide. “Malki should have welcomed the decision to install the cameras because they would document Israeli violations against Muslim worshippers,” he said.

Al-Khalayla condemned Malki’s stance as “clumsy,” saying they reflected “clear and deliberate ignorance” on his part.

Meanwhile, Jordanian Minister of Wafk Affairs, Hayel al-Daoud, defended the decision to install cameras at the Temple Mount. He said that the cameras were aimed at protecting the site. He also said that Jordan alone was responsible for installing the cameras and Israel has no right to intervene in the decision.

The Jordanian controlled Wakf Department in Jerusalem held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the latest tensions at the Temple Mount. At the end of the meeting, the department issued a statement in which it emphasized that the Aksa Mosque and its entire compound, including the “Al-Buraq Wall” (Western Wall), belong only to Muslims. It also rejected Israeli ‘attempts” to apply Israeli sovereignty and laws to the holy site.                                    (The Jerusalem Post)

Defense Ministry intercepts shipment of military uniforms for Hamas and ISIS

The Defense Ministry’s Crossings Authority intercepted a shipment of fabrics it suspects were destined to be used to make uniforms for Hamas’s military wing in Gaza and an ISIS offshoot in the Sinai Peninsula.

Personnel at the Kerem Shalom Crossing with Gaza found the fabrics in an Israeli truck, adding that a variety of colored uniforms and patterns were found.

“They were, according to our suspicions, meant for sewing workshops in Gaza that make uniforms for various Hamas units,” the Crossings Authority said. Fabrics for uniforms of the type used by ISIS in Sinai were also found.

More than 500 attempts to smuggle banned goods into Gaza were intercepted by the Crossings Authority in 2015 alone.                                 (Jerusalem Post)

Netanyahu: Like Rabin would have, we must battle terrorism with all our might

The past six prime ministers have failed to bring peace with the Palestinians, who are unwilling to accept a Jewish State, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, at the Knesset’s memorial for assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The Palestinians are “unwilling to give up the dream of returning to Haifa and Jaffa. They educate their children to hate Jews, to see Israel as an imperialist entity and the source of all evil. Rabin hoped this trend would change, but he was met with cruel waves of terrorism and radical Islam,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister pointed out that Israel made peace with its former enemies Egypt and Jordan, but that Rabin and every prime minster since his time was not able to attain peace with the Palestinians, despite their efforts.

“We evacuated Gaza, and what happened? Half of the Palestinians, radical Islamists, rained rockets and missiles on us,” he stated. “The other half refuses to confront the first half. The Palestinians do not have a mirror image of our society, which wants peace, but disagrees on how to attain it.”

Netanyahu said that in the current wave of terrorism, the government is “trying, like Rabin, to stand up to terror determinedly and without hesitation. We will fight incitement and terrorism with all our might.”

According to Netanyahu, peace can only be achieved through security.

“We must take away the Palestinians’ hope that one day they will defeat us through force. Only when they understand that they cannot do that, will we be able to put our swords back in their sheaths. Rabin understood that well,” he added.

At the same time, Netanyahu said steps must be taken to improve Palestinians’ lives – to “reduce friction, promote reconciliation and economic development.”

As for Rabin’s assassination, Netanyahu said it created a deep wound in the nation.

“A series of events in the history of our nation were caused by polarity and unbridled zealotry. We promised ourselves that the lessons of the past were learned and that the Kingdom of Israel will not be destroyed a third time. The challenge is to have a democratic, deep, public discourse in a climate that keeps the nation united. Our basic unity is the basis of our strength,” he said.

“Yitzhak Rabin made many contributions to the revival of the state. We are deeply grateful and remember him dearly and respectfully,” Netanyahu concluded.

At the same Knesset meeting, Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) implied that Netanyahu, who was opposition leader during Rabin’s second term as premier, was responsible for incitement to his assassination.

“Rabin tried to prevent Israel from becoming Israstine, hell. Rabin tried to take the territories out of Israel…Yitzhak Rabin tried. And you were on the balcony and heard cries calling him a traitor. And then the three gunshots came, and Yitzhak Rabin was murdered,” Herzog said.

“You should be ashamed!” MK Miki Zohar (Likud) shouted, as the plenum briefly devolved into chaos.

“You don’t even know how to respect this day,” Culture Minister Miri Regev yelled.

While Netanyahu was present at protests in which Rabin was called a traitor, he came out against such statements, saying at a demonstration in 1995: “Rabin is not a traitor. He’s not a traitor. He’s making a big mistake…We are dealing with political rivals, not enemies. We are one nation.”

On Monday, Herzog accused Netanyahu of poor leadership in comparison to Rabin.

“All of your actions, all of yours speeches, decisions are full of fear that is deep and polarizing,” he said. “As opposed to Mr. Responsibility’s leadership, yours is about ‘to whom can I defer responsibility today.'”

Herzog said Netanyahu is responsible for the current wave of terrorism.

“After many years, there are only right-wing members in the government. This is a fully right-wing government. There are no ‘lefties’ in it. You don’t have a scapegoat to blame. Prime Minister Netanyahu can do whatever he believes in – annex Judea and Samaria, cancel the Oslo Accords, collect the guns that you accuse Rabin and [former prime minister Shimon] Peres of giving the Palestinians, let the IDF win,” he stated. “For almost a month, there are no safe places in Israel, from north to south, east to west, the land is full of terror. The fully right-wing government did not cancel the Oslo Accords, [Education Minister] Naftali Bennett did not submit a proposal to the government to annex Judea and Samaria, and Netanyahu is calling on [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] to meet with him ‘without preconditions.'”

“You are responsible for almost 10 years, and in your time, Jerusalem was divided. Not under Peres or Rabin. Only you’re responsible,” Herzog added.

According to Herzog, Rabin would not have let terrorism win, and had he been alive, he would have prevented the Second Intifada.

The opposition leader said that now is a fateful time in which the country must decide if “we will slide towards Masada, to a state of Sikrikim, to destroying our third chance at independence, or if we will go bravely together towards a change that will bring us safe, clear, recognized borders that will protect the State of Israel as our national home once and for all.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein warned against placing blame for Rabin’s assassination on a population group, saying the vast majority of Israelis are appalled by it.

“In the years since the murder, many talked about ‘learning lessons.’ We almost always hear the claim that ‘we haven’t learned anything.’ The blame is almost always placed on one camp and led to an automatic reaction by a big part of the public that is dear to us and dedicated, but for many years hid on the memorial day for the murder,” he said. “The religious and nationalist population felt that it doesn’t matter what they do, when the memorial day comes, they will be collectively blamed…as if only they are responsible for the tragedy, as if they supported it, whether through silence or through words.”

Twenty years after Rabin was assassinated, Edelstein said, the time has come to stop the collective blame.

“Violence and murder are not our way; it is not anyone’s way; it certainly is not a norm. You will only be able to find someone who encourages it by using a microscope,” he added.

Edelstein also warned against incitement, especially online, saying that people need to need to restrain themselves from expressing their anger on social media.

“It must stop, or else fingers that are keyboard-happy will end up becoming trigger-happy,” he stated.                                              (Jerusalem Post)

PM rebukes deputy FM for dreaming of Israeli flag on Temple Mount

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned members of his government on Monday night to “act accordingly,” hours after his deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, also from his Likud party, said her dream was for the Israeli flag to fly over the Temple Mount.

In a statement released to the press, the Prime Minister’s Office said the Israeli government’s position vis-a-vis the contested Jerusalem site is well known and “nothing has changed.”

The prime minister “made ​​it clear that he expects all members of the government to act accordingly,” Netanyahu’s office said in the statement, in a clear rebuke of the deputy foreign minister.

The prime minister has repeatedly insisted, most recently on Saturday night after US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah II in Jordan, that Israel has no intention of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount.

Hotovely said Monday that the site was “the center of Israeli sovereignty, the capital of Israel, the holiest place for the Jewish people.”

“It’s my dream to see the Israeli flag flying on the Temple Mount,” she said in an interview with the Knesset channel.

From a vantage point near the Temple Mount, Tzipi Hotovely waves the Israeli flag, with the Dome of the Rock in the background, May 1, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Hours later, she issued a statement clarifying that her “private opinions were not government policy” and that she was “committed to the policy by which the prime minister said that there would be no change to the status quo.”

Hotovely, who favors the annexation of the West Bank and opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state, has made public visits to the Temple Mount in recent years along with a handful of other right-wing Israeli lawmakers. She recently said that any international observers placed on the Temple Mount would be a violation of Israel’s sovereignty.

“If I were to tell the prime minister what’s correct, in my eyes it’s definitely not proper to see the flags of the Islamic State or Hamas, in my eyes that’s a disgrace,” she said. “We need to fly the [Israeli] flag. This is the capital of Israel and this is the holiest place for the Jewish people.”

Israel captured the Temple Mount from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War. Just hours after Israeli paratroopers took control of the Temple Mount, then-defense minister Moshe Dayan ordered the Israeli flag — which the soldiers had quickly raised — to be lowered. Since then, there hasn’t been one on the flashpoint religious site.

Jews consider the compound, site of two Jewish temples in antiquity, to be their holiest place. Muslims consider the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which stands atop the Temple Mount, to be the third-holiest site in Islam.

Hotovely’s remarks were met with criticism from opposition lawmaker Yoel Hasson of the Zionist Union, who called on Netanyahu to dismiss her immediately.

“The messianic deputy minister continues to inflame the entire Middle East,” Hasson said. “Every few months she repeats her calls to fly the Israeli flag on the Temple Mount, as if the situation weren’t volatile enough.”

The Temple Mount has been the focus of violent clashes between Palestinian rioters and Israeli security forces in recent months, and an ongoing escalation of violence, involving dozens of Palestinian stabbing attacks on Israelis, has been triggered, in part, by Palestinian claims that Israel intends to change the status quo on the religious site. Israel has repeatedly denied the claims.

Non-Muslims are permitted to visit the compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, but non-Muslim prayer is not allowed. The site is administered by the Jordanian Waqf.

Hasson called for Hotovely’s dismissal from the government “for the sake of the security of Israel.”                                    (the Times of Israel)

BDS Campaign Set To Escalate In Australia After Pro-Palestinian Network Offers Support

Calls for Israel to be economically targeted over human rights abuses have been given a boost in Australia after a coalition of pro-Palestinian groups voted to endorse key elements of the campaign.

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) – an umbrella organisation representing a range of pro-Palestinian organisations based in Australia which boasts a retired Deputy Chief of the Australian Army as a patron – yesterday voted unanimously in favour of a motion backing the global Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“APAN endorses and advocates a policy of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israeli and international institutions complicit in violations of human rights and international law in Israel and Palestine,” the motion said.

“APAN recognises BDS as a non-violent means of ending violence and promoting peace, human rights and international law and is opposed to racism in all forms, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.”

The BDS movement has become a flashpoint in Australia in recent years, infuriating pro-Israeli groups, dividing local councils, and leading one Israeli organisation to pursue legal action aimed at effectively outlawing advocacy for the campaign in Australia.

The campaign styles itself on tactics used by the anti-Apartheid movement, and is attracting increasing attention within Israel.

Before this week APAN had avoided taking a clear stance on the issue and the motion passed yesterday avoids providing explicit support for the BDS campaign in its entirety, instead focusing on one of its three planks, ending the occupation of Palestine. It notes the need to be careful in choosing targets of boycotts “in order to support the work of Palestinian and Israeli peace organisations”.

Dr Peter Slezak, who sits on the APAN executive, said the motion would result in action, and that APAN would be working on campaigns targeting specific organisations.

“That’s the next step and we’re sort of on the verge of that,” he said.

APAN’s executive includes unionists, Christian activists, and other pro-Palestinian figures, and the network claims retired Major General Ian Gordon, once Deputy Chief of the Australian Army, as a patron.

Slezak said he didn’t think APAN would support actions against Max Brenner, a chocolate shop previously targeted.

In 2013 University of Sydney academic Jake Lynch was pursued by Israeli law centre Shurat HaDinafter he refused to assist a professor from Israel secure a fellowship in Australia. The case eventually fell apart, and Shurat HaDin paid Lynch’s costs.

Nasser Mashni, the son of a Palestinian refugee and another member of the APAN executive, said Palestinians in Australia had watched the breakdown of the peace process with despair, but that many felt afraid to speak up on the issue because of their previous experiences of mistreatment and repression.

He said APAN passing the motion came from a desire to encourage “non-violent resistance to the occupation”.                                   (New Matilda)

Kahlon willing to give Finance Ministry to Herzog to widen coalition

Israel’s credit rating is not rising because international credit agencies perceive that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s narrow, 61-MK coalition is unstable, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon warned Monday in a briefing for parliamentary reporters in the Knesset.

In a report released October 16, in which the international credit agency Fitch affirmed Israel’s rating but did not raise it, the agency wrote that Netanyahu’s small majority is constraining policy-making in his administration. Netanyahu’s associates have denied that assertion, saying that the coalition’s homogeneity creates stability and helps the prime minister govern without having his arm twisted by politicians with different agendas at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

But Kahlon used the report Monday to try to push the prime minister to expand the government. He said he would be happy with any Zionist party entering the coalition, even including Meretz. “It is important to expand the government as soon as possible because the narrow government makes it difficult to function,” Kahlon said. “I have been pressuring the prime minister to widen the coalition. I would even give up the Finance portfolio for [Zionist Union leader Isaac] Herzog.” Kahlon surprised the reporters at the briefing when he said he was staying in Kulanu “at the moment.” He said Netanyahu had spoken to him on multiple occasions about his idea of forming a larger right-wing party that would include factions that would run together.

“The prime minister has a desire to build a bloc that would run together,” Kahlon said. “I am staying in Kulanu at the moment. I didn’t form Kulanu to return to Likud.” Kahlon said problems happen in coalitions when one party does not respect another. He said that was not happening in the current coalition.

He said he supported Netanyahu’s recent security steps. But unlike Netanyahu, he gave credit to the Palestinian Authority, saying it is also trying to bring calm.

Kahlon claimed credit for preventing proposed legislative changes that would harm the courts. He met Sunday with Supreme Court president Miriam Naor.

He defended his decision to give Kulanu’s World Zionist Organization Executive post and the co-chairmanship of the Keren Kayemet Le’Israel to his political mentor, former minister Uzi Landau, and not to Ethiopian-born broadcaster Tsega Melaku. “Uzi Landau’s experience and his integrity is needed in the KKL,” he said.                                                  (Jerusalem Post)

Wyatt Roy headed to start-up nation Israel

Tel Aviv is calling for Wyatt Roy, who will return to Israel this week to scour the hi-tech powerhouse for inspiration for the government’s innovation agenda.

The assistant minister for innovation will lead a group of around 50 entrepreneurs, industry representatives and government envoys on a week-long expedition of the start-up nation.

“It’s important is that we learn as much as we can from Israel, they are a global leader in innovation,” he said.

Israel, with its population of about eight million, has exploded over the past decade to become one of the top high-tech powers in the world.

It leads the United States in numbers per capita for investors, venture capital funding and start-up businesses.

“They have the right culture, the right settings to drive innovation,” Mr Roy said.

“We can’t perfectly emulate Israel and nor should we try, but there is a lot we can learn.

He pointed to the country’s embrace of technology and entrepreneur subjects in education and the easy flow of investor capital for start-ups.

Mr Roy, who recently hosted a policy “hackathon” in Sydney that attracted about 300 tech and government participants, has also stressed the need for greater cooperation between the public and private sectors.

In Israel he hopes to gain insights from the Office of the Chief Scientist, the government department that funds dozens of Israeli tech incubators and provides research and commercialisation grants for start-ups.

It’s played a key role in creating a pro-business environment for the country’s intelligence capital and technology.

“I am really looking forward to meeting the chief scientist (Avi Hasson) who is a very successful entrepreneur himself. He’s more like the chief entrepreneur and that meeting will be very useful,” he said.

Mr Roy is also due to meet with his Israeli government counterparts who are driving government policy on innovation, as well as prominent venture capital firms and start-up incubators.

He described those accelerators as “the gold standard”.

“The quality of what they put through, their access to capital, access to market is very impressive,” he said.

Mr Roy will lead the Australian delegation alongside Robogals founder and 2012 Young Australia of the Year Marita Cheng.                           (The Canberra Times)

Masa brings record 12,000 Jews to Israel this year

Despite the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism, an all-time high of around 12,000 young Diaspora Jews are currently in Israel taking part in Masa programs.

Masa, a joint venture of the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency, brings Jews from around the world to Israel for long-term programs. Within the Masa framework, Jews aged 18 to 30 spend five months to a year in Israel. Program options include professional training, academic studies and volunteering.

Masa was set to hold its 2015-2016 opening event in Jerusalem on Monday evening. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to attend the event.

Liran Avisar Ben-Horin, Masa’s CEO, said the tense security situation in Israel had not led to any cancellations by program participants.

“Thousands of young people are arriving now, and it is moving to hear how they don’t intend to let terrorism affect their lives and their experiences in Israel,” she said. “These young people are the reservists of the Jewish people, and they will become our ambassadors throughout the world.”

This year has seen a dramatic 63% increase in the number of Masa participants from South Africa. The number of participants from Latin America is also continuing its upward trend of recent years.                                                                  (Israel Hayom)

Meet the Jewish doctor who saves Palestinian attackers and the Muslim doctor who saves Jewish victims

By William Booth and Ruth Eglash                         The Washington Post


This isn’t really a good news story. This is a sad story about a special place where Jews and Arabs come together to heal the broken bodies of victims and their attackers, some of them children.

The staff call them “Bert and Ernie” or “Fried and Eid.”

Ahmed Eid, 65, is a Muslim from the Galilee village of Dabburiya. Elchanan Fried, 41, is a Jew from Petah Tikva in central Israel. They both live in West Jerusalem.

Eid wears green scrubs and a scrub cap. Fried wears green scrubs and a knitted kippa. Eid is the head of surgery at Hadassah University Hospital in Mount Scopus. Fried is head of the intensive care unit. They both keep glancing at the time on their smartphones. They are on call.

For the past month — during a wave of Palestinian attacks on Jews and harsh Israeli responses, including shoot-to-kill countermeasures — the two have worked side by side.


From left, Ahmed Eid, head of surgery, and Elchanan Fried, head of the Intensive Care Unit, at

Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem

On Oct. 12, two Palestinian cousins, ages 13 and 15, from East Jerusalem stabbed a 13-year-old Jewish kid on his bicycle outside a candy store. They also wounded a 21-year-old Jewish Israeli man.

The 13-year-old victim, whose name is being withheld at his parents’ request, arrived at the hospital in terrible shape.

“No blood pressure. Pulse was 40. Ventilated at the scene,” said Eid, who rushed into surgery and began to work on his patient.

“More dead than alive,” said Fried, who came to assist.

So did a Palestinian anesthesiologist from the West Bank, who worked alongside Muslim, Christian, ultra-Orthodox Jewish and secular doctors and nurses, some from Israel, some from the Jewish settlements, others from Palestinian towns.

When the patient was stabilized, Eid went briefly to the waiting room to speak with the patient’s father.

Eid told him: “Listen, your son is still alive. It’s going to be okay.” Eid noticed the father was a religious Jew.

“I told him my name is Ahmed Eid, I’m director of surgery. Then I made a joke, I guess. I said, ‘An Ahmed stabbed your son, and an Ahmed is going to save your son.’ ”

Both doctors said they never ask whether the patient who comes through the door is a victim or assailant.

“We don’t ask who you are. We treat the terrorist the same as we treat the victim,” Eid said.

Fried was asked his opinion. “I rarely agree with Dr. Eid, but in this case, I concur.” He was making a joke. Both doctors smiled and looked at the time on their phones again.

Fried described Hadassah hospital as “a unique bubble.” He said half his staff in the ICU are Arabs. “Sometimes someone complains, but very, very rarely.”

“We treat patients by medical priority. Most sick first. To us, this is obvious. Maybe to the outside world, it is hard to understand,” said Osnat Levtzion-Korach, the hospital’s director.

At the same time that Fried and Eid were helping the victims, a few miles away at Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Kerem, a Jewish doctor treated the Palestinian assailant, 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra.

His 15-year-old cousin was shot dead at the scene by an Israeli police officer. Ahmed Manasra was run over by a car as he was fleeing.

Miklosh Bala, 46, director of the trauma unit, attended. Bala was born in the Soviet Union and came to Israel years ago, one of a million Russian Jews to immigrate here.

“The patient arrived accompanied by the security services, but it was not immediately clear what had happened. His age was not obvious, although it was clear he was a child,” Bala recalled.

He does not call Manasra “the terrorist.”

“We did not have a long conversation with him. We just did what was needed. He was conscious. We took his vitals and did what we would do for anyone who arrives in our department. He had a CT scan, a full medical evaluation, he was checked by a surgeon, an orthopedic doctor, everybody, it was all standard for someone with his injuries.”

Bala said, “Only afterwards we heard the details of the incident. Suddenly the kid was in the headlines. But when he first arrived, we did not know what had happened. All we wanted was to see that he was alive, his eyes were open.”

Minutes after Manasra was struck by the car, a crowd of onlookers surrounded him, a raw scene captured on video. As he lay bleeding in the street, an Israeli mob shouted, “Die!” They cursed him as the “son of a whore” and shouted at police to finish him off with a bullet to the head.

Bala recalled that Manasra “did not answer many of our questions. It was obvious that he was scared. His parents did not come until later, but our staff took good care of him.”

[Netanyahu calls Palestinian leader a liar after claims of teen’s execution]

In a speech in Ramallah this month, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of barbarism and pointed to the “execution in cold blood” of children by Israeli forces, including Manasra, whom he called a martyr for the Palestinian cause.

The following day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Abbas of “lies and incitement” — and reminded his listeners that it was Palestinians stabbing Jews. The Israeli government released video and photographs of Manasra alive and well in a bed in the Hadassah hospital — alongside security camera footage showing Manasra and his cousin with knives in their hands.

Videos from the scenes of knife attacks and other confrontations at checkpoints have often shown the Palestinian suspects lying on the ground, unattended.

Recently, the head of the Magen David Adom ambulance and emergency service created an outcry when he said his medics will treat attackers first if their injuries are worse.

The director of the ZAKA emergency response organization, composed of volunteers who assist medics, said that it was a complex issue but that “we instruct our volunteers to first take care of all Jews, because they were harmed just because they are Jews, while the terrorist murderer is deserving of death,” according to the Arutz Sheva news Web site.

Asked what it felt like to treat a boy who stabbed a boy, Bala said, “It is difficult to answer such a personal question. I have a 13-year-old son at home, and I did not really talk about it with my son. I do not understand what can make a 13-year-old carry out something like this.”

Bala said, “I don’t think I can be criticized for saving a life. It is holiest of holies. I just don’t understand the question when someone asks me why I saved the life of an attacker.”

“That is my job,” he said.

Greasing the wheels of hate

by Gerald M. Steinberg               Israel Hayom


In order to maintain a prolonged terror campaign, it is imperative to cultivate a deep-seated hatred. This hatred reverberates with university graduate students, law students, phone company employees with a steady and decent paycheck, and even the minds of 13-year-old children. More than anything, however, such a campaign requires funding. Indeed, along with the Palestinian Authority, this terror industry is propelled by European elements, including those with affiliations to European Union governments. Despite their declared ambition of promoting peace and understanding, they are essentially providing this terror campaign with all the fuel it needs — incitement, justification and glorification.


Imams in mosques and the leaders of Fatah and Hamas use the old libel of “Al-Aqsa is in danger” to incite the Palestinian masses. Other organizations, however, also contribute to this narrative, which has proved its effectiveness. For example, the Alternative Information Center, which is registered in Israel and is directly funded, among other sources, by the EU, published a call for “solidarity with the popular Palestinian resistance,” while warning that “fanatical groups of settlers supported by the government … are desecrating the [Temple Mount] compound … and are calling to destroy the mosque.” In addition to accusing Israel of colonialist policies of ethnic cleansing, it is also claimed that Israel and “Zionist militias” are responsible for the destruction of hundreds of churches and mosques since 1948.


In an emergency report published by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a Gaza-based organization funded by European governments (including some from the EU), Israeli victims are uniformly described as “settlers,” which is supposed provide political “justification” for the violence. Moreover, the report turns the attacker into the victim and blames the Israeli security forces for committing crimes. The photograph of 13-year-old terrorist Ahmad Saleh Manasra, showing him wounded and bleeding after being neutralized, became the poster child of Palestinian propaganda; similar to Muhammad al-Dura during the Second Intifada — used to portray Israel as a child killer. While completely ignoring video footage documenting his terrorist attack and eyewitness testimonies, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights writes in its report that Ahmad was on his way to buy a dove when he was attacked. And if that claim is not enough to render the organization’s professionalism and objectives a complete and utter joke — there are no dove stores in Pisgat Ze’ev either.


The Palestinian Bar Association granted the terrorist Muhannad Halabi an honorary degree. At the onset of the current wave of terror, Halabi, a law student, murdered two civilians in Jerusalem and wounded a mother and her toddler son. Even a statutory body such as this uses propaganda to glorify murderers, but receives funding from the EU. The amounts are hard to believe: The PBA received part of a 21 million euro grant delivered in August 2013, after reportedly receiving a similar grant worth 35 million euros over the three previous years. Between 2011 and 2013, the EU gave some 1.5 million euros directly to the PBA to “enhance the professionalism of Palestinian lawyers.”

European symbols and images of European representatives in Jerusalem adorn every page of the PBA’s website. The PBA has actively encouraged terrorism for quite some time already, and has organized violent protests against Israeli security forces, hunger strikes in solidarity with security detainees, and activities aimed at “liberating Palestinian prisoners.” Meanwhile, its “strategic plan” for the years 2015-2017, which was built “with the grant director for the EU,” includes submitting international law suits against Israel as one of its objectives.

Complaints should be directed at Europe, which intentionally or not is nourishing Palestinian incitement. Without these funds the Palestinians would be more limited regarding their propaganda of delegitimization and hatred, less blood would be spilled, and the atmosphere would be calmer. Despite many meetings and discussions with European representatives, the question still remains — how can our European friends transfer so much money to those who spill Jewish blood and prepare the ground for the next murder?

Gerald M. Steinberg is president of NGO Monitor and a professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University. Gilad Segal, the EU liaison at NGO Monitor, contributed to this report.

The Hidden Hand behind the Palestinian Terror Wave

by Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi,                             Institute for Contemporary Affairs


Gaza has in effect become an independent Palestinian state, and this Hamas-ruled state is making a pitch, by means of the “Al-Quds Intifada,” to annex the West Bank as well. For Hamas, this is only one phase in the phased plan to implement an ethnic cleansing of the Jews from the Land of Israel.

By unleashing Palestinian terror PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas hopes to bring about greater international intervention in the conflict, and, thereby, to give greater heft to UN General Assembly Resolution 67/19 of December 4, 2012, which recognizes “Palestine” as a nonmember observer state of the UN.

Hamas, which in the past was a bitter foe of the PLO, has made it a supreme goal to take over the organization. It thereby seeks to gain the status of sole representative of the Palestinian people.

Despite his declared support for a national reconciliation, Abbas is in no hurry to incorporate Hamas in the PLO institutions and is making this conditional on gaining real control of Gaza.

In recent years the Hamas leadership has been trying to spark an intifada in the West Bank that will lead to the PA’s collapse.

The wave of Palestinian terror against Israel, which the Palestinian leadership calls an “intifada” (a violent uprising that includes an armed struggle), is winning open support from all the representative organizations and institutions of the Palestinian people, including the PLO, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, the Hamas authorities who control Gaza, and organizations representing the Palestinian diaspora.

The green light for the intifada was given by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 30, in which he lauded Palestinian terror and threatened political chaos – that is, a descent into an all-out intifada-type conflict.1

By unleashing Palestinian terror Abbas hopes to bring about greater international intervention in the conflict, and, thereby, to give greater heft to UN General Assembly Resolution 67/19 of December 4, 2012,2 which recognizes “Palestine” as a nonmember observer state of the UN within the borders of June 4, 1967, including east Jerusalem. Thus the Palestinian terror is meant to leverage international pressure on Israel to withdraw from the West Bank without negotiations or conditions. The Palestinian struggle against Israel will then continue from the new borders under improved circumstances.

The Hamas leadership, too, sees the UN resolution as a historic opportunity for it, particularly the provision that recognizes “the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in accordance with a decision by the Palestine National Council, [as] entrusted with the powers and responsibilities of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine .”

Hamas, which in the past was a bitter foe of the PLO, has made it a supreme goal to take over the organization. It thereby seeks to gain the status of sole representative of the Palestinian people and the right to international recognition of that status with the entire attendant political, legal, economic, and other ramifications.

Hence, in the reconciliation agreements between the PA/Fatah and Hamas, the Hamas leadership demanded the formation of a temporary PLO leadership that would include Hamas and Islamic Jihad – that is, partnership in the temporary Palestinian government – and the holding of new elections for the PLO institutions, first and foremost the Palestinian National Council.

Despite his declared support for a national reconciliation, Abbas is in no hurry to incorporate Hamas in the PLO institutions and is making this conditional on gaining real control of Gaza, currently under the effective control of Hamas. In Hamas’ view, Abbas and the present Palestinian leadership are an obstacle to gaining a foothold in the PLO institutions and the PLO Executive Committee, which constitutes the “temporary” Palestinian government.

The Hamas leadership understands that Abbas is trying, by means of the intifada, to upgrade the international recognition of the Palestinian state and of his status as “president” of all the Palestinian people, including Gaza, and to do so without enabling Hamas’s incorporation in the institutions of the state-in-the-making that are recognized by the international community.

Hamas has branded the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah as “traitors,” collaborators with Israel in the “grave crime” of security cooperation, to be punished by execution for “severe treason” against the Palestinian people. The Hamas leaders deny the legitimacy of the PA’s rule and call for its overthrow by the masses.

In recent years the Hamas leadership has been trying to spark an intifada in the West Bank that will lead to the PA’s collapse – whether through a revolt by the Palestinian population or a wide-scale Israeli military operation against the PA military forces that are responsible for the terror.

The Hamas leadership is also appropriating the current terror wave by dubbing it the “Al-Quds Intifada,” while putting cardinal emphasis on opening a front against Israel both in the West Bank and within Israel itself by calling on Israeli Arabs to take an active part in the struggle. Gaza serves as a base for setting the terror wave in motion. Apart, though, from a few attacks (the firing of a few rockets, some sniper fire, and breaches of the border fence), the Hamas leadership is refraining as in the past from responding to the “assault on the Palestinians” with massive rocket fire from Gaza at Israeli communities.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri made clear (in the Hamas daily Felesteen, October 14, 2005) that Hamas wants to sustain what it has called “the popular nature of the Al-Quds Intifada” while keeping it focused on the West Bank and Jerusalem, along with attacks within Israel. Abu Zuhri also underlined the harnessing of legal tools and of the human rights organizations to the terror organizations’ struggle against Israel, and particularly, as he called it, against “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians (in other words, those killed during attempts to murder Israeli civilians and soldiers with knives, vehicles, and so on).

The Hamas leadership, then, does not want to open an immediate military front against Israel in Gaza, but rather to focus the terror activity on the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel itself. The overriding goal is to undermine the PA’s rule.

Hamas’ policy reflects the terror organization’s great self-confidence, and the sense that the extensive military infrastructure it has developed in Gaza, along with its ability to remain in power even after Israel’s military operations, affords it a measure of deterrence against a further Israeli military campaign.

In actuality, Gaza has become an independent Palestinian state, and this Hamas-ruled state is making a pitch, by means of the “Al-Quds intifada,” to annex the West Bank as well.

This, in turn, is only a phase in the phased plan to implement an ethnic cleansing of the Jews from the Land of Israel. As stated by Mahmoud al-Zahar (Falestin, October 17, 2015), head of Hamas’ Political Department and considered one of the pillars of the movement, the struggle to “expel the Jews from all Palestine is a religious commandment prior to it’s being a national duty.”

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