August 22, 2018

Gaza Terrorist Opens Fire On IDF Troops

A Palestinian terrorist shot at IDF troops on patrol near the northern Gaza Strip on Monday morning (20th).  In response, the soldiers fired towards the terrorist, killing him.

No injuries were reported.

News sources reported that the terrorist shot at the soldiers from close range, at a distance of between 30-60 feet from the border fence.

The IDF is investigating whether the terrorist was a member of the Hamas terror group.  

The incident was the latest in almost daily terror incidents on Israel’s border with Gaza.

On Friday (17th), thousands of Palestinians rioted along the security fence with Gaza, hurling fire bombs and IEDs.

Gaza-based terrorists continued to launch incendiary devices at Israeli communities surrounding Gaza, causing three fires to erupt on Sunday (19th).

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced Sunday (19th) the closing of the Erez crossing, Israel’s main personnel crossing with Gaza, in response to the violence.

These incidents occurred as Israel and Hamas are reportedly on the brink of signing a year-long ceasefire.  An Egyptian source said an agreement is expected next week after the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

However, Israel has stated that it will not signed anything until its Hamas-held soldiers’ bodies and civilian captives are returned to Israel.



U.S. Security Adviser: Our Goal Is To Get Iran Out Of Syria

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton arrived in Israel Sunday (19th) and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks focused mainly on Iran.

One of the U.S. administration’s leading hawks, Bolton has pushed for greater pressure on Iran to ensure it halts its support for terrorism and its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.

Welcoming Bolton ahead of talks on Monday (20th), Netanyahu praised the U.S.-Israel alliance.

“Israel believes it has no greater friend and ally than the United States and I believe the United States has no greater friend and ally than Israel,” he said.

Bolton, an Iran hardliner, has been a long-time supporter of Israel and has visited the Jewish state many times over the years.  This is his first trip in an official capacity since being named to his current position in March.

Also in attendance at the the Prime Minister’s residence on Sunday (19th) were U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer.

In an interview with ABC’s This Week, prior to his visit, Bolton said that Israel, the United States and Russia all had a common objective of making sure that Iranian forces get out of Syria.



Denouncing UN Chief, Danon Says Gazans Need Protection From Hamas Not Israel

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon condemned on Saturday (18th) several suggestions aimed at boosting protection of Palestinians, which were proposed the day before by the international body’s Secretary General Antonio Guterres.  Danon said that Arab civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank required shielding from their own leaders, rather than Israel.

Guterres’ proposal included sending UN rights monitors and unnamed observers, and deploying a military or police force under UN mandate.  The suggestions were contained in a report requested by the General Assembly in response to a surge of violence in Gaza, where 171 Palestinians have been reported killed during Hamas-led clashes with Israeli troops since late March.  Dozens of the dead were members of terror groups that Hamas has acknowledged.

“The only protection the Palestinian people need is from their own leadership,” Danon said in a statement.  “The Palestinian Authority incites its people to demonize and attack Jews, and Hamas, a terror organization, uses the people in Gaza as hostages and endangers the lives of civilians for terror’s sake.”

“Instead of delusional suggestions on how to protect the

Palestinian people from Israel, the UN should hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for the harm caused to its own people,” he further charged.

Danon added that the suggestions presented by Guterres “would only bring about continued Palestinian suffering at the hands of their leaders.”



Israel Loosens Gun Laws For Army Combat Veterans

Israel eased restrictions on gun ownership Monday (20th) in a move intended to increase the number of weapons in circulation, allowing Israelis to more effectively respond to Palestinian terrorism.

According to the Israeli news site Ynet, the Ministry of Public Security’s new licensing policy will open up gun ownership to hundreds of thousands of veterans, although they will still be required to pass the same rigorous  screening procedures in place. Up to this point, only those living in the West Bank or working in professions that required weapons, such as security guards, had been eligible for ownership.

“Many civilians have saved lives during terror attacks,” Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan was quoted as saying.  “In an era of lone-wolf terror attacks, the more armed and trained civilians there are, the larger the chances of disrupting an attack and decreasing casualties.”

This is not the first time that Erdan has worked to loosen Israel’s strict gun laws.  In the wake of a series of lone-wolf terrorist attacks carried out by Palestinians across Israel in 2015, he allowed local authorities in what are deemed “high priority” areas to grant weapons permits rather than require applicants to deal directly with his ministry.  He also expanded the number of areas that fell under that designation.

“Citizens with firearms-training are a multiplying force for the police in their fight against terrorism and therefore I will take measures to ease the restrictions at this time,” he said.



German Foreign Minister Visits Auschwitz

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Monday (20th) visited the former Nazi-German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, which he called “the most horrible place on earth.”

Maas has often said that the site which Nazi Germany installed in occupied Poland during World War II inspired him to go into politics.

“I saw thousands of childrens shoes that were taken off them on their way to the gas chambers, tons of human hair that was taken from people before they were sent to the gas chambers,” Maas said after visiting the site in the southern Polish city of Oswiecim.

“This is the most horrible place on earth.  And it is here where you have to make a choice: either you lose all faith in humanity, or you gain the hope and the strength to stand up for human dignity and to work for it,” he added.

“This is a place of remembrance that reminds us Germans above all of what we did to millions of people.  We need this place because our responsibility will never end.”

Auschwitz-Birkenau has become a symbol of Nazi Germany’s genocide of European Jews, one million of whom were killed at the camp between 1940 to 1945.

Later Monday (20th), Maas held talks with Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz at the Maximilian Kolbe Center, a spiritual site in the nearby village of Harmeze.

Kolbe was a Polish priest who died at Auschwitz after taking the place of a condemned man.