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Latest News in Israel – 21st April

Palestinians Celebrate Jerusalem Terror Attack

Palestinians in Gaza are celebrating a horrific terror attack that wounded 21 innocent Israelis, some seriously, by handing out sweets.

This seems surreal. Young men in Gaza are handing out sweets in celebration of a Palestinian terror attack in the heart of Jerusalem.

A bus exploded in flames as a result of a bomb. Among the wounded, a 15-year-old girl is suffering severe burns on her entire body.

This is what makes the enemies of Israel in Hamas-ruled Gaza happy.

It’s also interesting that in the poverty-ridden Gaza Strip, there are so many cars.

Riding the No. 12 bus – the day after

For two passengers on the No. 12 bus on Tuesday, yesterday’s bombing evoked dark memories of the 1990s and early 2000s, when buses exploded with horrifying regularity.

For another, yesterday was perhaps a close brush with disaster.

Traveling from Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in the direction of the Malcha Mall on Tuesday afternoon, Shoshana Huja, 65 and a resident of Gilo, said she takes the No. 12 every so often. Today happened to be just such an occasion, but she says she had second thoughts about getting on.

“Of course I was afraid of getting on the bus,” she said, laughing nonetheless from her position at the very front of the boss. “But I sat right here behind the driver so I could see exactly who’s getting on.”

Huja was one of several passengers who said that they were looking around the vehicle as they got on, and when others got on, and most said that their feeling of personal safety had declined during the recent months of terrorist attacks, and especially the bus bombing on Monday.

“I feel unsafe the whole time, whenever I get on a bus and I see an Arab woman with a head-covering and a bag I’m afraid,” Huja continued, saying however that she never thought about not getting on the bus since “there’s no alternative,” adding that taxis were too expensive for her to consider.

The bombing on Monday stirred unpleasant memories for her however, noting that her neighbor is a widow of a victim of the No. 32 bus bombing in 2002, and that her colleague lost a son in one of the bombings on the No. 18 bus in the mid ’90s.

“But there have been terrorist attacks for many years, it’s not anything new,” she said.

Ronald Basford, 66, who has lived in Israel since 1968, also said he never considered not getting on the bus, but like Shoshana, said he is more aware and looks at his surroundings carefully to see who is on the ride with him.

“You can’t generalize though, you can’t see every Arab as a terrorist. In parallel, there is increased security today and there is increased awareness, but its impossible to stop everything,” he said stoically.

“But I’m not going to stay home because of this, although I won’t take unnecessary risks. I won’t go wandering around an Arab neighborhood for example.

But you have to keep going about your own business, you can’t give into it. You have to go on with life, and you have to hope for the best.”

Sahar Levi, 19, happened to be on his way home yesterday, instead of traveling in the other direction, as he said he does frequently in the afternoon.

Shortly after the attack, he got a flood of calls and text messages from his family asking him where he was and if he was alright.

“I was in shock, I really thanked God I wasn’t on the bus,” he said simply. “This afternoon I thought about not getting on, I can’t say I wasn’t afraid, but I also didn’t really think about not getting on. These things happen, what can you do? These attacks can’t be stopped at the moment, so I recommend that everyone continues on with their lives and shouldn’t be afraid.”      (Jerusalem Post)

Significant progress in Jerusalem bus bomb investigation

Meaningful progress has been made in the investigation into Monday’s bus bombing in Jerusalem, which left 21 people wounded, according to Israel’s Channel 2.

Further details have not been released for publication, as part of a gag order into the ongoing investigation.

At this point, investigators believe that the most seriously injured person recovered from the scene is the terrorist who planted the bomb.

The explosive device was relatively rudimentary, and investigators are working on the assumption that the terrorist had not in fact intended to be a suicide bomber, but that his bomb accidentally went off prematurely. The unidentified man is currently in critical condition.

Two other people were seriously wounded in the blast, which engulfed two buses in flames; the remaining victims are all listen in moderate to light condition – many of them with multiple shrapnel wounds.

All the casualties are hospitalized in Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek and Hadassah Ein Kerem hospitals.

Jerusalem Police have raised their alertness level for the upcoming Passover festival, during which Muslim terrorists have in the past attempted to target Jews celebrating the seven-day holiday. Among other precautions, the police presence in the capital has been considerably boosted, particularly at tourism hotspots.   (Arutz Sheva)

‘West Bank terror cell plotted to kidnap settler for prisoner swaps’

Israeli security forces have uncovered a West Bank terror cell that allegedly plotted to kidnap a resident of the Har Bracha settlement in order to gain a bargaining foothold in negotiations to free Palestinian prisoners, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Tuesday.

The suspects, residents of the village of Iraq Burin, near Nablus, were affiliated with the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas.

According to the Shin Bet, the pair had already prepared a place to hide the proposed kidnap victim, as well as implements to restrain him.

They also planned a stabbing attack and a plot to steal an IDF soldier’s weapon, the Shin Bet said.

The suspects, 30-year-old Sa’ad Husam Ahad Fakia and 25-year-old Malak Fatah Ismail Kadus, were arrested as part of raids to locate the perpetrators of a March 2 stabbing attack in Har Bracha in which two IDF soldiers were wounded.

Two fifteen year-old suspects admitted to carrying out the stabbing, but Fakia and Kadus were also among those arrested, and their plot was uncovered, according to the Shin Bet.

Kadus had also planned a shooting attack against IDF soldiers, as well as a stabbing plot that included the stealing of the soldier’s weapon, the Shin Bet stated. A 14-year-old also allegedly admitted to being involved in these plots.

The findings of the investigation into the suspects’ activities will be passed on to military prosecutors in the coming days in order to prepare indictments against them, the Shin Bet said.                (Jerusalem Post)

UN Security Council discusses resolving Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Some members of the United Nations Security Council called on Monday for the passage of a resolution on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

“It is difficult to understand why the United Nations Security Council has not passed a single resolution on this question in over seven years,” New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said during an open debate on the Middle East in New York.

“The council could be a silent witness to the demise of the two-state solution,” warned McCully, whose country is one of 10 rotating nations on the 15-member body.

No formal statement on the matter was issued at the end of the meeting, but a number of member nations including Malaysia, Venezuela and Egypt spoke of their frustration over the council’s inaction during the debate.

They spoke about the need for a resolution even though no such text has been submitted to them.

The international community expects the Security Council to play a role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, McCully said.

The steps forward are clear, he added.

The council should assert that the twostate solution is the only pathway to peace. It should condemn violence on both sides and speak out against continued settlement building, which is an obstacle to peace, he said.

The UNSC must also “endorse a pathway back to negotiations, potentially through a parameters resolution,” McCully added.

Finally, he said, the council should support the work of other parties to resolve the conflict such as the Quartet, the Arab League and France, which has pushed for an international conference on the issue.

The sequence and the timing of how everything should happen remains unclear, McCully said.

“It is our absolute conviction that a council resolution is an essential ingredient in the steps that lie ahead, the only issue is its timing and relationship to external processes,” McCully said.

“I know that there are those who would rather the council played no role and others who will assert that there are risks around a council resolution at this time,” McCully said.

“But the greater risk by far is that the council might do nothing at all, as the two state solution is pronounced dead and buried,” he added.

France’s Ambassador to the UN, François Delattre, said it is important to create a credible political horizon to preserve the two-state solution.

His country’s proposal, Delattre said, involves a June ministerial meeting in Paris of the Quartet, the permanent members of UNSC and the Arab League, as well as regional and European stakeholders.

Working groups would be established to create incentives, such as EU partnerships as well as economic and security guarantees, he said.

A timetable would be set in place and planning would take place for a larger international conference in the fall to provide a credible basis by which to relaunch the frozen peace process, Delattre said.

There should also be UNSC action when the time is right, he said.

“It is our shared responsibility to never throw in the towel,” said Delattre, whose country is one of five permanent UNSC members.

The Palestinian Authority has spoken of its plan to submit a resolution to the United Nations Security Council with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and against settlement construction but has yet to do so.

Its ambassador to the UN in New York, Riyad Mansour, told the UNSC said that consultations were under way with Egypt and the Arab Ministerial Committee with regard to how best to formally proceed.

“We welcome the support of all concerned parties for this effort and the calls for the council to uphold its duties toward the question of Palestine before the situation unravels, more innocent lives are lost and the two-slate solution is relegated to the archives of history.”

Over the past seven years, US President Barack Obama has worked to prevent the Palestinians from issuing resolutions against Israel at the UNSC, preferring instead to see the two parties move forward toward a direct-negotiated solution.

In 2011 the US, which is one of five nations with veto power at the Security Council, vetoed a UNSC resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian state.

In 2015 a Palestinian resolution demanding that Israel withdraw to the pre-1967 lines within three years failed to draw the necessary nine votes to ensure its passage.

Still Mansour appeared to allude solely to the US efforts against Palestinian resolutions at the UNSC on Monday, when he told its members, “every time we approach the Security Council, we are chided by a council member and told that it’s either ‘not the right time,’ or not the ‘appropriate venue’ to address the matter, or, ironically, that ‘the peace process will be undermined’ somehow by seeking rights and peace, or that the doors of the council are totally closed, period. When will it ever be the right time to approach the council? At what point of crisis ill this council be galvanized to finally act?” he asked.

US alternate representative to the UNSC Ambassador David Pressman told the assembled nations that the lack of progress with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is frustrating.

“We will continue to be steadfast in our support of efforts that will advance dialogue, advance peace, and advance progress; and we will oppose those that do not. Progress will be borne from hard choices made by both leaders to advance the cause of peace over parochial politics,” Pressman said. But he did not address the issue of a UNSC resolution.

Israel has persistently said that the first step to ending the conflict is for the Palestinians to sit down and negotiate with the Israelis rather than to turn to the UNSC to demand resolutions.

Prior to the meeting Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told reporters, “We believe in direct negotiations.

We do not believe in UNSC resolutions.

There are no shortcuts. If the Palestinians want to talk peace, they need to sit down with the prime minister and negotiate.

The same way we negotiated with the Egyptians and the Jordanians. That is the only way to move forward – to sit down and negotiate directly.” (Jerusalem Post)

Dershowitz Decries Biden Attack on Netanyahu in J Street Speech as ‘Payback From White House’

Vice President Joe Biden’s jabs at Israel’s prime minister during a speech Monday evening at a gathering for a left-wing Israel lobbying group amount to “payback from the White House,” retired Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz said on Tuesday.

In an address delivered at J Street’s annual convention in Washington DC, Biden singled out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for criticism, expressing his “overwhelming frustration” with the Israeli leader’s policies.

“I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over the past several years — the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures — they’re moving us, and more importantly, they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction,” the vice president asserted.

While Biden did make mention of the failure by Palestinian officials, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, to condemn acts of terror against Israel, the vice president vowed to “push them [Israel and the Palestinians] as hard as we can” towards a two-state solution. “There is at this moment no political will that I observed from either Israelis or Palestinians to go forward with serious negotiations,” he said.

“This was payback from the White House and Joe Biden was just dead wrong,” said Dershowitz. “Netanyahu has offered over and over again to sit down without preconditions and negotiate peace. To create moral equivalence between Netanyahu and Abbas is to create a false equivalence.”

According to Dershowitz, Biden’s omission of the Palestinians’ long-standing practice of rejecting Israeli peace offers only serves to fuel the flames of criticism against Israel. In 2008, when then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert “offered the Palestinians everything, Abbas did not respond,” Dershowitz said. “Why didn’t Joe Biden mention that? Ninety percent of the responsibility lies on Abbas, and to create a false moral equivalence is to play into the double standard directed against Israel.”

Biden’s remarks — which came hours after a suspected terror attack on a Jerusalem bus that injured 21 — also questioned how, under the current policies of the government, Israel could remain both Jewish and democratic.                        (the Algemeiner)

Israel’s center-left Isaac Herzog  says his party must stop being seen as ‘Arab-lovers’

Isaac Herzog, the leader of Israel’s center-left Zionist Union opposition party said Tuesday that to win over more of the Israeli public it had to stop giving the impression that it is a party of “Arab-lovers,” a derogatory term often used by the extreme right to insult those who they perceive as obsessively defending and championing Israeli Arabs or Palestinians, whether in the political or social spheres.

The remarks by Isaac Herzog, made public in a video posted by the Israeli daily Haaretz, set off a firestorm of criticism within the party.

“We have to understand the changes Israeli society is going through. It’s true, [Yesh Atid leader Yair] Lapid is taking votes from us in the polls because, among other reasons, he is moving to the right of us in the national consciousness, and we need to talk about what that means,” said Herzog at an event in Ashkelon Tuesday evening.

“What does ‘more right-wing’ mean?” asked Herzog, whose Labor Party is the main component of the Zionist Union. “I mean, we’re not going to become right-wingers,” he said. “But how can we find our way into the hearts of members of the public? How can we convince them that we have not only the experience, but also the the ability, to improve Israel’s situation, without compromising Israel’s security, heaven forbid, and without giving the impression — and I encounter this at meetings time and time again with the Israeli public — that we are always ‘Arab-lovers’?”

Herzog led his party to defeat at the hands of Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud in Israel’s last general elections in March 2015. On election day, Netanyahu galvanized his supporters by claiming that Israel’s Arab minority were “streaming to the polls.”

Herzog’s remarks prompted a series of condemnations by Labor Party and Zionist Union members, including former Labor chairman Shelly Yachimovich and Zouheir Bahloul, who himself stirred controversy earlier this month for declaring that Palestinian attackers who target soldiers and army positions are not terrorists.

“Is this an appropriate response for the head of the opposition to a demonstration by the radical right?” tweeted Yachimovich in reference to the Tel Aviv rally Tuesday night in support of IDF soldier Elor Azaria, who has been charged with manslaughter for shooting dead a disarmed and incapacitated Palestinian attacker in Hebron last month.

The Tel Aviv rally attracted a small number of people from the radical right, including those who carried Kahanist signs and those identified with the violent anti-Arab Lehava group.

MK Bahloul demanded an apology from Herzog for his remarks in the name of the Israeli Arab community.

“To dismiss 20 percent of the community [which makes up the Israeli Arab sector] in such a callous way, to disguise oneself as ‘right-wing,’ flirting with those who fill up the city squares, to get stressed about every poll — that’s not how you present an alternative to the ruling government,” Bahloul said, adding: “I condemn Herzog’s statement and demand an apology on behalf of the Israeli Arab community.”

In response to the criticism, Herzog’s office released a statement saying “we are not afraid to deal with problems that arise with regards to how the public sees Labor and the Zionist Union. One of the problem is a mistaken, dangerous impression that we consider the needs of the Palestinians above the needs of the State of Israel and its citizens.”

Herzog is facing a police probe into allegations he received unlawful financial contributions during his successful 2013 campaign for the Labor Party leadership. He is also suspected of failing to report a donation and making a false statement.

He was questioned under caution this week, a process that is often a precursor to the opening of a criminal investigation.

The Labor Party is the larger of the two parties — the second is Hatnua — that make up the Zionist Union faction in the Knesset.    (The Times of Israel)

Israel says it still wants Temple Mount cameras after Jordan reneges

Israel remains in favor of installing security cameras at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem, even after Jordan reneged on the project due to Palestinian reservations, a senior official said Tuesday.

“Israel’s support for placing cameras on the Temple Mount remains unchanged. That’s because we believe in transparency,” the Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity, using the Jewish term for the site.

“It is regrettable that the Palestinian Authority objects to this idea. It’s clear that they don’t want repeated Palestinian provocations caught on tape,” the official said.

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur had on Monday announced his state would not be proceeding with its plan to install 55 cameras at the site, Islam’s third holiest, citing Palestinian “doubts about the aims of the project”.

“Because we respect the point of view of the Palestinians… we believe the project is no longer consensual, but a potential source of conflict, and have decided to end it,” he said.

On March 20, Jordan said it would set up the security cameras around the flashpoint compound to monitor any Israeli “violations”.

The site, which is revered by Jews as their holiest, is administered by a Jordanian trust or “Waqf”.

In October, after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, US Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed a plan for cameras at the site in a bid to calm repeated disturbances.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed.

Kerry hailed the agreement as an important breakthrough at the time. On Monday the US State Department expressed disappointment that the plan has apparently failed.

“We still see the value in the use of cameras,” said spokesman John Kirby.

The compound in east Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War, houses the famed golden Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque.

Clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian rioters erupted at the compound last September amid fears that Israel was planning to change rules governing the site which allows Jews to visit the site but not pray there.

Netanyahu has repeatedly said there are no such plans.   (The Times of Israel)

Israeli Girl Unearths Ancient Egyptian Amulet in Jerusalem

A 12-year-old Israeli girl has discovered an ancient Egyptian amulet dating back more than 3,200 years to the days of the Pharaohs.

Neshama Spielman and her family took part in the Temple Mount Sifting Project, an initiative to sort through earth discarded from the area of the biblical temples in Jerusalem.

There she found a pendant-shaped amulet bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler Thutmose III.

More than 170,000 volunteers have participated since the project began in 2004.

The discovery comes days before Jews celebrate the holiday of Passover, marking their freedom from bondage in Egypt. Spielman said Tuesday she was excited to learn of the significance of the amulet she found.

“Celebrating Passover this year is going to be extra meaningful to me,” she said.   (Haáretz)

Prepared or not, Hamas may now believe it has an urgent incentive to attack Israel

Tunnel exposure means next Hamas war is a case of ‘when,’ not ‘if’

The IDF claims Gaza’s rulers won’t again drag Israel into conflict. But if Hamas fears its attack tunnels are about to be exposed, it may try to use them first

by David Horovitz                   The Times of Israel

http://www.timesofisrael.com/tunnel-exposure-shows-next-hamas-war-is-a-case-of-when-not-if/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=94cb1480f8-2016_04_18&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_adb46cec92-94cb1480f8-54421417

So now, finally, parts of the story can be told.

The context to the IDF’s drill late last week, which simulated an attack on a kibbutz near the Gaza border by Hamas forces, becomes clearer.

The oblique references by senior Israeli officials to Hamas’s ongoing tunnel digging, made in television interviews and at public forums, resonate more seriously.

The assertions that Israel will fight the next war with Hamas on its terms, issued by IDF officers who cannot be named in briefings to local military correspondents, take on a more immediate significance.

Why? Because Hamas, the IDF finally confirmed for publication on Monday, has been tunneling under the border again. The nightmare of 2014, when troops discovered and destroyed some three dozen cross-border attack tunnels in the midst of a bitter war, is far from over.

As with those 100,000-plus rockets and missiles deployed by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon with only one address, the question of the next round of conflict with Hamas in Gaza ­ it must unavoidably be concluded ­ is not one of “if,” but rather, simply, of “when.”

And while it would be comforting to believe that “senior IDF officer” who last week assured Israel’s military reporters that Hamas is not prepared for a new round of conflict, that Hamas will not again drag Israel into a war, and that any future conflict will be one undertaken at the initiative of the Jewish state, there are compelling reasons, unfortunately, to doubt his confidence.

For one thing, Israel has three times found itself dragged into conflict with Hamas in the less than a decade since the Islamist terror group seized control of the Strip. And in none of those wars and mini-wars has Israel been able to achieve a decisive victory or even a prolonged period of subsequent calm. To state this is not by definition a savage criticism, by the way, or a recommendation for the use of greater force. A more destructive confrontation would have cost more lives on both sides and exposed Israel to greater international criticism and damage ­ no matter how unjustified ­ without necessarily yielding any more auspicious result. But it is true, nonetheless: Despite the best efforts of Israel’s best military minds, Hamas still rules Gaza; Hamas is still sustained by international support or indifference; Hamas is constantly improving its rocket capabilities; and Hamas, the Israeli public has now finally and formally been told, is again digging sophisticated attack tunnels under the border.

For another thing, prepared or not, Hamas may now believe it has an urgent incentive to attack Israel again in the near future. It was widely and quite credibly argued, during and in the aftermath of 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, that Israel had narrowly avoided a devastating Hamas onslaught through the network of tunnels the terror group had set up at the time. It was suggested that Hamas had been planning to send hundreds of gunmen through those tunnels, to attack military and civilian targets, to massacre Israelis, to seize hostages ­ to radically remake the balance of power. It remains unclear to this day why Hamas chose not to attempt such an attack; some have argued that there was a dispute within the organization between its so-called political and military leaderships. Whatever the case, on July 22, 2014, while the war was in full swing, Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog spoke of the “unimaginable” mega-terror attack Hamas was believed to have been planning ­ sending hundreds of terrorists swarming through those tunnels to massacre Israelis in the Gaza-adjacent kibbutzim and moshavim. Days earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said intended Hamas attacks on kibbutz kindergartens, homes and dining halls would have been “catastrophic.”

With the cessation of hostilities, even as Israel was grappling and continues to grapple with the international community’s failure to understand what we face from the Gaza terror state ­ step forward Bernie Sanders, BDS et al ­ Hamas went back to concerted tunneling and rocket manufacture. It has been gaining strength at a “surprising” pace, that same unnameable senior IDF officer acknowledged in last week’s briefing. And it has been utilizing some 1,000 tunnelers, working round-the-clock six days a week.

Inevitably, perhaps, it has suffered setbacks, notably including a series of tunnel collapses, and the exposure of the tunnel revealed by the IDF on Monday. Or, then again, perhaps to say “inevitably” is to miss the mark. Perhaps, Hamas may be asking itself, Israel has been making gains of its own in this relentless battle of wills. Perhaps it has found technologies to combat even Hamas’s well-constructed, deep and reinforced subterranean attack routes. (Israeli security sources were indeed quoted Monday talking about new “technologies” being utilized to find the tunnels.)

And if that is the case, one can only ask, can Israel really be confident that it will determine the timing and nature of the next round of conflict with the brutal Islamists? Hamas, which insists on continuing its efforts to destroy Israel, and which demonstrates such supreme indifference to the well-being of the people of Gaza (and doubtless much cynical amusement at the naivete of the international community), may feel that, fully ready or not, now is the time to attack. That now, heaven forbid, is the time to do what it did not do prior to the 2014 war. Because otherwise, it may be gauging, Israel could be on the point of exposing and destroying more, perhaps all, of that painstakingly constructed network of attack tunnels.

Does the Jerusalem bus explosion endanger the recent decline in terror?

The security establishment believes that the terror wave is ebbing despite Monday’s blast, but such an attack could still potentially reignite the street.

by  Noam Amir                                      The Jerusalem Post

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Analysis-Does-the-Jerusalem-bus-explosion-endanger-the-recent-decline-in-terror-451676

Despite a bus explosion that injured 21 people in Jerusalem on Monday, the defense establishment believes that the current terror wave plaguing Israel is approaching its end. A downturn in attacks has been noted on the ground, in part due to the Palestinian security forces’ efforts to thwart terror.

The estimate is that an organized terrorist infrastructure does not stand behind the blast, but rather it is believed to be the work of a lone wolf attacker that constructed the explosive device from materials that can be purchased at a hardware store. The main reason for the great amount of damage that the bomb caused is that it exploded next to the massive gas tanks of two buses.

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) did not just by chance refer to the coming period as one of the most sensitive since the terror wave began. The month of Nissan, the month of holidays, is very volatile, mainly because of the intersecting of religious ceremonies. In Judaism, it is common to visit holy sites during this period. It is not a coincidence that orders were issued by the prime minister, the Shin Bet and the police commissioner not to ascend to the Temple Mount during this period. Making comments about the subject is also off limits. Despite Monday’s bus explosion, the defense establishment is hopeful that the coming weeks wills pass peacefully.

Jordan’s decision not to install cameras at the Temple Mount is not positive for Israel, which had hoped the project would be initiated immediately after Passover. For Israel, it would have been an opportunity to show on camera the reality on the Temple Mount and Israel’s efforts to maintain the status quo. The project was supposed to provide a live broadcast of the place to the whole world, under Jordan’s supervision, so that anybody, anywhere, could see that the reports of Israeli violations on the Temple Mount were for the most part lies and incitement.

A security source told The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv that the terror wave can only be judged over an extended period, and not on the basis of a specific incident.

According to the source, “In order to say that the terror wave is over, we must see two phases. One is a decline, hopefully two to four weeks of quiet, and then we can talk about a calming down, and an additional period of two to four weeks of quiet. Without this, the terror wave is still at its height. A terror attack like the one we saw Monday evening can certainly bring the motivation back to the street after it had seriously declined over the last month.”

The bomber who slipped through the net

Security forces are in a race against time to track down the cell behind the Jerusalem bus bombing, and figure out if the attackers are part of larger armed faction.

By Yaacov Lappin    The Jerusalem Post

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Analysis-The-bomber-who-slipped-through-the-net-451738

The terrorist bomb that tore through a Jerusalem bus on Monday is just the type of attack that security forces, led by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) domestic intelligence agency, have been working intensively for months to try and prevent.

Security forces are looking the possibility that the bomber is among one of the seriously wounded in hospital.

Beyond that fact, they are maintaining a fog of secrecy around their investigation into the bombing, and key questions remain unanswered, at least in the public domain, at this stage.

These include the question of whether the attacker acted alone, was part of small, amateur cell, or whether an organized terrorism cell, sent and funded by one of the established Palestinian armed factions, is behind the atrocity.

Additionally, it remains unclear whether the attack occurred when it did because the bomb went off prematurely, or whether a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device.

The bombing confirms warnings aired by security sources in recent days, who said that the coming Passover holiday could see ‘the unstable respite’ shattered by terrorism.

Behind the scenes, the Shin Bet quietly foiled many Hamas large-scale terrorism plots that were surfacing in the West Bank recently, often stopping them at a late stage, just before the attackers could strike.

Hamas in Gaza has not stopped trying to remotely orchestrate terrorism in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem. It is prepared to risk its truce with Israel in Gaza, which is valuable to it, to pull off a major attack in an Israeli city.

Monday’s blast could represent one of the rare occasions when such an organized plot bypassed Israel’s extensive intelligence networks – networks that are usually able to deliver a warning in time to stop acts of murder.

The other option, that of a small, amateur local cell being behind the attack, would mean that it was able to use its obscurity and low profile to slip under the Shin Bet’s considerable radar.

Security forces are in a race against time to get to the answers, and prevent the reappearance of mass violence on Israeli streets

IDF uncovers Hamas tunnel stretching from Gaza into Israel

IDF in pre Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx3Vwya-UtE&feature=youtu.be

Watch this video and see the happy faces of the children in the cars. See what they’re taught to celebrate.   (United with Israel)