+61 3 9272 5644

Latest News in Israel – 3rd November

Arab Israeli woman defends Israel Arabic TV

Watch this Arabic language video. (with English/Hebrew subtitles)

She says it all in this short video. The only country where Arabs have nearly all of the rights of a democratic country is Israel.

If all of Israel’s neighbors offered the kinds of rights that Israel offers to it’s Arab citizenry, the ruling dictators would probably be out of office instantly.

The best part of this video is her attitude of realizing that Israel is not just a just state – but the best state for an Arab to live in in the Middle East

"ישראל אינה מדינת אפרטהייד ומי שאומר את זה צריך להתבייש! אני גאה במדינת ישראל". צפו בראיון האמיץ והעוצמתי שנתנה דימה לערוץ הערבי.ככל שירבו קולות כמו של דימה תאיה, ערביה מוסלמית ישראלית, נצליח לחיות כאן ביחד. קול של אמת מלא בתקווה. ===דימה נמצאת עכשיו בארה״ב במשלחת ייחודית של מילואימניקים בחזית על מנת להביא את האמת על המיעוטים בישראל ולהאבק בשקרי תנועת החרם.שתפו וחזקו אותה!

Posted by ‎Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו‎ on Tuesday, 17 October 2017

WATCH: Israeli Team Helps to Develop Major Cancer Breakthrough

Researchers at Hebrew University, working with scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have developed a special protein designed to attack cancer cells.

The major challenge in treating cancer has been to minimize damage to healthy cells while eliminating cancer cells. Indeed, cancer patients are all to familiar with the debilitating effects on the body resulting from toxic chemicals and radiation.

Now, an international consortium of researchers from Boston’s MIT and Israel’s Hebrew University have succeeded in using the portion of human DNA that identifies disease to develop a protein that naturally targets cancer cells, while avoiding healthy ones. (United with Israel)

Lebanese media: Israel bombed weapons depot in Syria

Israeli jets destroyed a weapons facility in western Syria on Wednesday night, according to Lebanese media.

The Syrian army’s 72nd Brigade was said to have fired anti-aircraft missiles at the Israeli Air Force jets, though there were no reports of planes being shot down.

The IDF refused to comment on the alleged strike, in accordance with its policy not to acknowledge raids across the border.

Some Lebanese media identified the target as a weapons warehouse, while others said it was a manufacturing facility. There was no immediate mention of who operated it.

However, Israel has said repeatedly that it will thwart attempts by the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group to acquire advanced weaponry.

According to the Lebanon 24 outlet, the Israeli jets carried out the strike from eastern Lebanese airspace.

The target of the alleged strike was said to be in Syria’s Homs governorate, between the city of the same name and Damascus.

Lebanese citizens in the city of Baalbek, near the Syrian border, reported hearing loud explosions.

Earlier in the night, residents of eastern Lebanon reported seeing Israeli jets flying overhead.

In March, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman threatened that if the Syrian military fired its air defenses at Israeli jets “we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation.”

Last month, the IDF bombed a Syrian anti-aircraft battery after it fired an interceptor missile at an Israeli reconnaissance plane that Israel says was flying over Lebanon.  (the Times of Israel)

Top Israeli Police Official: Lone-Wolf Terrorism Can Only Be Defeated if West Unites to Combat It

Lone-wolf terrorism will only be defeated if the West comes together in a joint effort to combat it, a top Israeli security official said on Wednesday, a day after an ISIS-inspired assailant killed eight people in a truck-ramming attack in New York City.

“Terrorism knows no borders and no boundaries in today’s world,” Major General Avshalom Peled — who currently heads the Israel Police’s training department — said. “No country is immune. No country can fight this war alone. We can only succeed if we unite together, share intelligence, ideas and experience, and face the challenge with a united front — Israel, the United States, Europe.”

Speaking while in Manhattan to attend the annual gala of the pro-Israel group Our Soldiers Speak, Peled expressed his condolences to the families of the victims of Tuesday’s mayhem on a West Side bike path.

“That’s what terror does, it takes the lives on innocent people,” Peled said. “The terrorists are trying to make people afraid and cause chaos.”

“Global jihad stands against democracy and the values it represents,” he noted. “Israel is a target, America is a target, Europe is a target, the entire non-Islamic, Western world is a target.”

Lone-wolf terrorism, Peled said, is a phenomenon Israel has been coping with intensively since 2014.

“The terror organizations didn’t vanish, they still exist, unfortunately,” he stated, “but lone wolves are more difficult to deal with.”

“This is because, generally, there is no prior intelligence,” he explained. “A lone wolf, most of the time, acts alone. It is his personal decision, which is usually a spontaneous one. He does not belong to a terror group and he is not usually known authorities. Quietly, he or she picks a time and a place to attack. They are very hard to detect.”

While there is no typical lone wolf, Peled said, “what is common is the motivation of the ideology of extremist Islamic teachings, with the encouragement of Islamic terror organizations.”

Social media, Peled emphasized, is “one of the main tools of incitement producing lone-wolf terrorists.”

The lone-wolf challenge, he said, prompted the Israel Police to create “new procedures covering six main areas to deal with lone wolves — operational and tactical methods; intelligence; technology; dialogue; training; and public awareness.”

According to Peled, Israel’s security bodies — including the police, Shin Bet and IDF — have bolstered their cooperation to handle the threat.

“We’re building responsive joint command centers, which enable us to respond quickly and effectively during an event,” he said.

Also, he continued, “the availability of intelligence information is critical and we share knowledge between the security agencies in real time. There are no ego arguments. Using this intelligence information, we can build a target bank of potential terrorists, who may then be arrested and questioned. We also use intelligence to build specific profiles of lone-wolf terrorists, which helps us focus on potential perpetrators.”

Social media networks are also closely followed, Peled said. “It’s very hard to get intelligence about a lone-wolf terrorist, so one of the tools to gather intelligence is to watch social media in different languages,” he added. “We know that all lone wolves got ideas of global jihad ideology from social media. So it is very important that we monitor social media inside the population of potential lone wolves.”

In Israel, Peled pointed out, the police are aided by a public that has become accustomed to looking out for suspicious activities.

“We highly developed this starting in the mid-1990s when we faced a wave of Palestinian suicide bombers,” he said. “We defined the public as a strategic partner of the police. They often alert us to dangers. In Israel, the partnership with the public is very wide.”

Democratic nations, Peled went on to say, “fight terrorism with one arm tied behind their backs, because there is always a balance between the security and the freedom of citizens. More security, less freedom. More freedom, less security. And a democracy must maintain this balance between security and freedom.”

Israel, Peled assessed, has been “relatively successful” in quelling lone-wolf terrorism. “There is no such thing as 100% success in this field,” he said. “Nevertheless, our goal is 100%, and we’re improving our methods all the time.”

For America, he continued, mitigating the lone-wolf terror threat is “much more complicated.”

“In Israel, it’s much easier to define the community which the potential lone wolf will come from,” he said.

“I’m not here to teach the United States, it’s a great country,” he added. “But I think if we swap knowledge, we can improve our tools against the lone wolves. Israel is not more clever than America, it just has more experience.”

In the wake of Tuesday’s attack, Peled advised New Yorkers to “be alert, with a state of mind that they have to look for suspects and be the eyes and ears of the police on the ground.”           (the Algemeiner)

Netanyahu urges ‘national reconciliation’ after ‘challenge’ by Rabin’s son

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called for national reconciliation and unity in response to harsh criticism leveled against him by the son of murdered prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on the anniversary of his father’s assassination.

Netanyahu, speaking in the Knesset at a memorial service marking 22 years since the Rabin’s assassination, directly addressed Yuval Rabin.

“You challenged me, and I took up the gauntlet,” Netanyahu said. “I call for national reconciliation and brotherhood. I have done it many times before, but in light of your moving call, I repeat this message with all my might. I call for unity, based around the security and political principles shared today by the majority of the nation.”

At an earlier memorial for the late prime minister, Yuval Rabin launched a scathing tirade of criticism against Netanyahu, without mentioning him by name.

“Yitzhak Rabin did not work against the democratic rights of those who opposed him, or tried to silence those who opposed him,” he said. “He never fled from responsibility and never whined. Those who opposed him most strongly always found his door open when they came to him.”

“Even when he was exposed to waves of the most terrible incitement he was the prime minister for everyone,” he said. “That is not how things are today.

“The list of traitors grows longer every day — from heads of the military, heads of police, heads of institutions whose opinions are uncomfortable to those individuals [in power],” he said. “And there is no one to say, ‘Stop this madness.’”

“It is time for a statement from the house on Balfour Street [the Prime Minister’s Residence] that calls for the total eradication of violence and hatred from our [national] home,” Yuval Rabin said.

Netanyahu has often attacked the media and others for statements perceived as critical of him. Earlier this month, the prime minister claimed that Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich was responsible for leaking information to the media about criminal investigations against him for alleged corruption. The prime minister has also come out strongly against left-wing NGOs critical of Israel, vowing to pass harsher legislation restricting their funding.

Critics have claimed that Netanyahu stoked tensions in criticizing Rabin in the run-up to the assassination.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a memorial ceremony to mark the 22nd anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin at the military cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on November 1, 2017.

At the Knesset memorial to the slain prime minister, Netanyahu maintained that his political path is one which Rabin would also have supported, as do the majority of Israelis.

“The fear of both Rabin and myself was that the Oslo agreement would lead to the easing of security and the rise of terror directed at us from the Palestinian territories,” he said.

At the earlier memorial held at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem where Rabin is buried, Netanyahu blamed the Palestinians for failure to reach a peace deal, saying it was not because of Israel’s actions.

“The reason the Palestinians are not willing to reach an agreement is not because of our positions — because with creativity, it is possible to reach an agreement with them,” he said. “The reason lies in one basic fact — they have not yet accepted the right of the State of Israel to exist.”

The prime minister quoted Rabin, who in his last speech to the Knesset said, “We will not return to the June 4, 1967 lines,” adding that “The Palestinians will be able to lead independent lives in their own ‘entity’… an entity that is less than a state.”

Netanyahu said that Rabin, along with the majority of Israelis today, agreed that Israel must uphold security control in the Jordan Valley and believe Jerusalem must remain under Israeli sovereignty. He added that there was general agreement with a principle formulated by Rabin that no Jews or Arabs should be uprooted from their homes in any final peace agreement.  (the Times of Israel)

IDF raids two Palestinian gun workshops, confiscates lathes

IDF soldiers raided two workshops in the West Bank early Thursday morning that the army said were used to manufacture firearms.

Troops from the Etzion and Yehuda brigades, working with the Shin Bet security service, sealed the workshops in Hebron and confiscated five lathes belonging to the two Palestinians, a father and son, who owned one of the shops.

For the past year and a half, the IDF has been cracking down on the black market for guns in the West Bank. The army has focused its attention on local weapons production, specifically the manufacturing of Carlo-style submachine guns, a jury-rigged gun cobbled together out of water pipes and parts from other guns.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, the army arrested 15 wanted men, including 11 who are suspected of involvement of throwing rocks or taking part in violent protests, according to the military.

Also Thursday, two teenagers were arrested in East Jerusalem on suspicion of throwing Molotov cocktails at a parked car.

The two, aged 18 and 19, from the neighborhood of A-Tur, allegedly threw the firebombs at an Israeli vehicle that was parked in the area. There were no injuries but the car was damaged. (the Times of Israel)

Netanyahu in London to celebrate Balfour and talk Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to London on Wednesday evening to take part in centennial celebrations of the Balfour Declaration and to hold talks with Prime Minister Theresa May that are expected to focus on differences the countries have regarding the Iranian nuclear deal.

While Netanyahu applauded US President Donald Trump for decertifying the Iran deal last month and sending the issue back to Congress, Britain – along with France, Germany and Russia, the other European countries that were part of the agreement – believe it should be maintained.

Just before boarding his plane, Netanyahu told reporters, “I intend to raise concrete suggestions on how to deal with the failed aspects of the Iran nuclear agreement.”

Referring to Palestinian demands for an apology for the Balfour Declaration, which paved the way for Israel’s establishment, Netanyahu said, “The Palestinians say that the Balfour Declaration was a tragedy. It wasn’t a tragedy. What’s been tragic is their refusal to accept this 100 years later. I hope they change their mind, because if they do, they can move forward finally to making peace between our two peoples.”

Netanyahu is traveling to Britain at a time when a poll found that fully 50% of the British public have “cold” feelings toward the Jewish state. That is the bad news.

The good news is that the percentage dropped from 62% in 2014, just after the war in Gaza.

According to a Populus poll taken in mid-October for BICOM – the Britain Israel Communications and Research Center – and released last week, 21% of the British public have a warm feeling toward Israel, 2% more than in 2014. Another 20% have neutral feelings, and 10% don’t know. Populus took the poll in 2014 as well.

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Thursday. Despite demands from the Palestinians that the British apologize for the November 2, 1917, Balfour Declaration stating Britain’s support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, May has said that Britain will mark the centennial “with pride.”

Netanyahu last met with May during a visit to London in February.

Britain’s policy on the Iranian nuclear deal is that while it is not perfect, it is broadly accomplishing the goals it was meant to address – which is to push the Islamic Republic away from becoming a nuclear state. The British have also expressed concern that if the deal were scrapped, Iran would rush quickly to nuclear breakout.

Netanyahu is expected to discuss with the British premier Iran’s ballistic missile development and its aggression in the region, and how those issues should now be addressed.

The discussions are taking place amid a great deal of uncertainty about the Iranian nuclear deal – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – now that Trump has decertified it.

The president kicked the issue back to Congress, which now has less than 60 days to decide whether to introduce legislation to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s banking system and oil exports; institute “trigger points” regarding its nuclear and ballistic missile development, whereby sanctions would kick in automatically if Iran were to take certain actions; or take no action at all.

Following his meetings with May and Johnson, Netanyahu will on Thursday evening take part in a gala dinner honoring the Balfour Declaration hosted by Lord Rothschild, with the participation of May, senior government officials and members of the Balfour family.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn turned down an invitation to the event, sending his party’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry in his stead.

On Friday, Netanyahu will give an address, titled “Israel’s Foreign Policy Priorities” at the Chatham House think tank. Netanyahu, according to Chatham House’s billing of the speech, “will outline his government’s foreign policy priorities in light of the current geopolitical landscape across the Middle East.”

He is also scheduled to open trading at the London Stock Exchange and meet leading corporate leaders that day.

Although the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in Britain has made a great deal of noise over the last decade, it has had almost no impact on commerce between the two countries. For instance, twoway trade between Israel and the UK reached $7.6 billion in 2016, a 64% increase from 2007, a couple of years after the BDS movement started and began gaining steam.

Those figures do not take into account arms deals, which would increase the number substantially.

According to a 2016 study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Israel is Britain’s third-largest weapons supplier, following the US and France.

Netanyahu – who will be accompanied on the trip by his wife, Sara – will spend Shabbat in London, and on Sunday meet with British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and British Jewish community leaders. He will fly home after those meetings. (Jerusalem Post)

From Beersheva

by Ron Weiser

It is hard to describe the feelings of being in Israel at this very special moment.

Particularly, that of being an Australian in Israel and more specifically, spending yesterday in Beersheva.

Overlay that with being a Jewish Australian and words fail to capture the incredible symbiotic and deep connections that embody a relationship that actually goes back 102 years to Gallipoli as Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out.

Yesterday however belonged to a particular milestone event where we remembered and celebrated the centenary of the last charge of mounted soldiers.

Between 600 and 800 Australian soldiers – with hindsight, in one way all madmen – engaged in the seemingly impossible task of liberating Beersheva from the Ottomans and ultimately laying the groundwork for the future establishment of the State of Israel.

As crazy as it was, the charge succeeded.

And as many speakers pointed out. This was never supposed to be a charge. These brave Australians were not cavalry, they were infantry. The horses were supposed to carry them to the battle lines, where the intention was to dismount and fight as infantry.

The Turks were experienced fighters, not lacking in bravery themselves and had in fact defeated the Australians previously at Gallipoli.

And yet in Beersheva, two years later, the Australian Light Horse, with minimal weapons, weary after their many hours of riding through the desert, never having charged before, facing a force far larger in size who were well dug into their trenches and with heavy weaponry in place – took the risky decision to charge.

And so they did.

And they were brave.

And they were magnificent.

And they were victorious.

The commemoration events actually began the night before with an Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce reception at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

It is simply impossible to name everyone involved in all of the events and to acknowledge everyone – but one needs to start at least with an appreciation of just what work the Chamber does and how important it is.

Minister Josh Frydenberg laid the tone for the entire couple of days when he began by telling a story of Menachem Begin’s visit to the USA in the 1970’s as opposition leader.

Begin, a fierce opponent of the then Israel government when engaged in Israeli politics, took an entirely different tone when outside of Israel.

That is, when travelling overseas, the internal differences were far less important than the overall relationship between Israel and in that case, the USA.

And so it was here with the Australians taking a similar position. There were no Liberal or Labor delegations. There was just one very large and high level Australian delegation led by Prime Minister Turnbull and Lucy Turnbull and including Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and Chloe Shorten.

In fact it was quite a testament to the relationship just how many Australian political leaders came to Jerusalem from both Federal and State levels.

The reception itself was like a reunion. It was impossible to move more than two feet around the room at any one time, without bumping into old friends, supporters of Israel from over the years and people who truly came together to celebrate the Australia Israel relationship.

The day in Beersheva began early and with the Battle of Beersheba and Sinai-Palestine Campaign Centenary Service at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.

This was a joint Australian and New Zealand Commemorative Service.

Speakers included The New Zealand Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy who said: “the military campaign changed political conditions in this region in the most profound way. The bonds between Australians and New Zealanders forged at Gallipoli were strengthened in the campaign. It is only fitting that we should join together today in remembering their service and their sacrifice. We will remember them.”

Prime Ministers Malcom Turnbull and Benjamin Netanyahu spoke beautifully too.

What was clear when it came to the Australia Israel relationship, and following on from Netanyahu’s trip to Australia early this year, was that the words expressed by the PM’s were not merely speeches prepared by their advisors, but that there was warmth and depth and a genuine friendship at play here and that on this for the Australians, it was bipartisan.

The Light Horse charge also proved decisive for the Zionist dream of a future Jewish state. Two days later, after word of the victory reached London, Britain’s Foreign Minister, Lord Arthur Balfour, issued a declaration calling for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Prime Minister Turnbull said “They spurred their horses through that fire, those mad Australians, through that fire, and took the town of Beersheba, and secured the victory that did not create the State of Israel but enabled its creation.”

“Had the Ottoman rule in Palestine and Syria not been overthrown by the Australians and the New Zealanders, the Balfour declaration would have been empty words,” he added. “But this was a step for the creation of Israel.”

Although at one point Prime Minister Turnbull did make the audience hold its collective breadth when he referred to “Bill the Bastard”.

Until he made clear that he was referring to a particularly special horse that took part in the campaign 100 years ago…….

Then there was the parade down the central street of Beersheva by the Diggers on horseback – so great to see.

The reenactment of the charge itself also turned out to be a celebration of music from that period and a description by Kelvin Crombie of the historical implications of the charge. As he described it, “leading to the creation of five Arab States and tiny Israel”.

Crombie also quoted from Martin Luther King who said: “Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality. Israel’s right to exist as a state in security is incontestable.”

The sight of over 100 Australians in uniforms on horseback, was indeed something to behold. And when overlaid with the strong personal and familial ties some of the riders had with the original Light Horse, I am sure that no-one who was there will ever forget that moment.

The day concluded with an Australian service and huge Aussie BBQ at the Park of the Australian soldier. And what a BBQ it was.

Beersheva had done its job and provided us with wonderful weather all day and the evening was no different – stories were exchanged, strangers became friends and the good atmosphere flowed.

Each conversation only exceeded the previous one in the joy of listening to and speaking with true friends of the State of Israel, express their oh so positive views.

Special mention must be made of the Pratt Foundation who had put so much into these centenary events and who played such a generous role in enabling all of us to appreciate them.

We will always remember the ANZACS of 100 years ago and we will also remember always, the privilege of being able to be present for this Centenary.

There was never a day of personal experience, to be a more proud Australian Jewish Zionist – for all of those intertwining elements and their deepest meanings – than the 31st of October 2017.

Gaza Strip: Breeding Ground for Radical Terror Groups

by Bassam Tawil               The Gatestone Institute

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11257/gaza-strip-terror-groups

  • Hamas is doing its utmost to conceal the truth about ISIS in the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian Authority (PA) is continuing to pretend as if Hamas is headed toward moderation as a result of the “reconciliation” accord.
  • Hamas presents itself as the sole and legitimate ruler of the Gaza Strip and as if it is in full control of the Gaza Strip.
  • If the “reconciliation” agreement is implemented, Majed Faraj, commander of the PA General Intelligence, and considered a strong candidate to succeed Abbas in the West Bank, will soon find himself working with his Gaza Strip counterpart — a convicted terrorist who serves as a “general,” named Tawfik Abu Na’im.

Hamas claims that Israel was behind the attempt on the life of Tawfik Abu Na’im, a top Hamas security official in the Gaza Strip. There is good reason to believe, however, that ISIS was behind the assassination attempt, which took place in the Gaza Strip on October 27.

Abu Na’im, commander of Hamas’s security apparatus, was lightly injured when an explosive device hidden beneath his car exploded after Friday prayers in a local mosque. Even before Abu Na’im was rushed to hospital, several Hamas officials and spokesmen publicly held Israel responsible. This claim, of course, came without any evidence to support their charge.

Abu Na’im, who was released from an Israeli prison in 2011 after 23 years behind bars for terror-related offenses, is one of the founders of Hamas’s military wing, Ezaddin Al-Qassam.

Since his release and return to the Gaza Strip, Abu Na’im, who holds the rank of “general,” has been dubbed the “man of difficult missions.”

Only a handful of Hamas officials know the nature of the “difficult missions” Abu Na’im is said to have carried out on behalf of the terrorist movement. What is certain, is that these missions were anything but humanitarian in nature.

Those who are familiar with Hamas’s “missions” cannot but conclude that the “general” was involved in terrorist activities such as the digging of tunnels and the smuggling of weapons. It is also likely that he was involved in planning terror attacks and preparing Hamas for another war against Israel.

Hamas is now claiming that Abu Na’im was targeted by Israel precisely because of his involvement with Hamas’s terrorist activities. Hamas is also claiming that by targeting its “general,” Israel is seeking to sabotage the recent “reconciliation” agreement between Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA).

Ma’mun Abu Amer, a Palestinian expert on Israeli affairs, argues that Israel is the only beneficiary of the assassination of a senior Hamas official. “Israel is trying to sabotage the reconciliation and create chaos in the Gaza Strip,” he alleged. He even went as far as claiming that Israel is behind a number of ISIS-inspired terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

This last claim is significant. Why? Because it contains a hint as to the identity of the party that is really behind the assassination attempt on the life of Abu Na’im: another ISIS-inspired groups. In the Gaza Strip, most Palestinians do not seem to be buying the Hamas claim that Israel was behind the assassination attempt.

It is, in fact, an open secret among Palestinians there that ISIS-inspired terrorists were the ones who planted the explosive device beneath Abu Na’im’s vehicle.

In addition to his involvement with Hamas’s anti-Israel terrorism, Abu Na’im was also responsible for a crackdown on ISIS-inspired groups and individuals who have been openly challenging the Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip. Hamas considers these groups and individuals a major threat to its totalitarian regime and hegemony over the Gaza Strip.

Many of the ISIS-affiliated jihadis in the Gaza Strip are former disgruntled members of Hamas who broke away from the group under the pretext that Hamas is too soft, and is failing to carry out enough terror attacks against Israel.

A few weeks ago, Abu Na’im’s men managed to detain one of the prominent ISIS-affiliated fugitives, Nur Issa, in the Gaza Strip. Issa had been wanted by Hamas for nearly two years before he was captured in a Hamas security operation. The detention of Issa enraged ISIS and its supporters in the Gaza Strip and Syria.

According to some sources, shortly before the assassination attempt, Abu Na’im received a telephone call from an unnamed ISIS operative in Syria. The ISIS operative reportedly who made threats against Abu Na’im’s life because of the Hamas crackdown on ISIS members and the detention of Issa. Abu Na’im, however, according to the sources, apparently did not take the threat seriously,

Abu Na’im is the second senior Hamas official who has reportedly been targeted by ISIS-inspired groups in the Gaza Strip. Earlier this year, Mazen Fuqaha, another senior Hamas operative, was gunned down outside his home in the Gaza Strip. There, too, Hamas pointed the blame at Israel. Three Palestinians were arrested and executed after a secret trial, in which they allegedly confessed that they had carried out the assassination of Fuqaha on the instructions of Israel. However, only very few Palestinians in the Gaza Strip seem to believe this claim by Hamas. Many are convinced that Fuqaha was killed by ISIS-affiliated terrorists.

Hamas knows the truth about the responsibility of ISIS for targeting members of Hamas. Yet, this is a rather inconvenient truth that Hamas prefers to hide. First, it is not comfortable for Hamas to admit that ISIS has long been operating under its nose in the Gaza Strip. Second, it is not convenient for Hamas to admit that its members are defecting to ISIS and other more extremist Islamist terror groups in the Gaza Strip. Third, the timing of last week’s assassination attempt on the life of Abu Na’im is particularly problematic for Hamas, as it coincides with its “reconciliation” agreement with Abbas and his Palestinian Authority. Hamas presents itself as the sole and legitimate ruler of the Gaza Strip and as if it is in full control of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas does not want Abbas or the rest of the international community to know about the ISIS threat to its regime, as this could have a negative impact on the “reconciliation” agreement and perhaps scare Abbas away from the Gaza Strip.

Particularly disturbing, meanwhile, is that Abbas’s top Palestinian Authority officials were among the first Palestinians to phone the Hamas general and arch-terrorist, Abu Na’im, to congratulate him on surviving the botched assassination attempt.

Of special significance is a phone call Abu Na’im received from Majed Faraj, commander of the PA General Intelligence in the West Bank. Faraj is one of the most powerful figures in the West Bank and is considered a strong candidate to succeed Abbas. Moreover, Faraj enjoys the full political and military backing of the US and other Western countries. If the “reconciliation” agreement is implemented, Faraj will soon find himself working with his Gaza Strip counterpart — a convicted terrorist who serves as a “general,” named Tawfik Abu Na’im.

If and when Faraj and the Palestinian Authority ever set foot in the Gaza Strip, they too will have to face the reality that ISIS is already operating there and that it poses a threat not only to Hamas, but also to the PA itself. If ISIS sees Hamas as being too moderate and pragmatic, one can only imagine what ISIS thinks about President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority.

For now, however, Hamas and the PA continue to prefer the ostrich routine, burying their heads in the sand. Hamas is doing its utmost to conceal the truth about ISIS in the Gaza Strip, while the PA is continuing to pretend as if Hamas is headed toward moderation as a result of the “reconciliation” accord.

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority point accusing fingers at Israel rather than deal with the perils that stare each of them in the face. And it works: this incessant, knee-jerk blame of Israel distracts the world from seeing that the Gaza Strip has become a breeding ground for radical Islamist terror groups. Abbas knows very well that Hamas is not going to change its ideology, but is nevertheless proceeding to get into bed with his nemesis. Hamas knows very well that ISIS is already in the Gaza Strip, but continues to claim Israeli conspiracies. The question is, for how long will Abbas and Hamas manage to fool everyone all of the time?

President of Israel on Balfour Anniversary: Jews and Arabs Are Destined – Not Doomed – to Live Together – Reuven Rivlin (Newsweek)

At the time Lord Balfour made his famous declaration, my family – the Rivlin family – had already been living in the Land of Israel for over 100 years. Jerusalem had already had a Jewish majority for over half a century. Today, my grandchildren are ninth generation Jerusalemites.

The Balfour Declaration marked the first official recognition by an international power of the right of the Jewish people to independence and self-determination in our ancestral homeland. The establishment of a national home for the Jewish people is a dream that has truly been realized, with more than half the world’s Jewish population now living in Israel.

Lord Balfour also stressed that the rights and civil liberties of the non-Jewish communities must not be prejudiced. Indeed, non-Jewish communities who took Israeli citizenship share the same democratic rights and responsibilities as their Jewish neighbors. Today they include senior figures in Israel’s judiciary, military, legislature, civil service, industry and academia.

Is the job done? No. But I am deeply proud of Israel’s efforts to address the challenges, and work to ensure equality for all the Arab citizens of Israel.

Israel will continue to seek and strive to find a lasting and peaceful solution to the conflict between us and the Palestinians – a solution that is rooted in mutual acceptance. Because ultimately the Balfour Declaration called upon everyone to understand that the Jewish people had returned home.

When it is truly understood that the Arabs and Jews of the Holy Land are not doomed to live together but indeed destined to live together, then the legacy of Balfour will be truly realized.

The writer is the President of Israel.