December 18, 2018

Soldier Injured In Givat Assaf Still Fighting For His Life

Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital says a soldier seriously wounded in an attack on a bus stop in the West Bank on Thursday (13th) is still fighting for his life. Netanel Felber is on a ventilator and in an induced coma.  He is listed in very serious condition according to the hospital.

Felber, originally from the Washington, DC area, was outside the Givat Assaf outpost on Thursday, when a terrorist opened fire, killing two other soldiers and seriously wounding him.  A fourth person, a civilian, also suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Meanwhile, a terrorist who stabbed a soldier and smashed his head with a large rock after infiltrating an IDF position near Beit El on Friday morning (14th) turned himself in to Israeli security forces on Saturday (15th).  The terrorist who was wounded in the struggle with the soldier, fled the scene after the attack.

The soldier, from the Nahal Brigade’s ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda combat battalion, sustained serious injuries in the attack and was treated at the scene before being rushed to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem for further treatment.  

On Sunday (16th), the hospital in Jerusalem said the injured soldier is improving.

The incident was the latest in a recent spate of terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria.



Hamas Displays Apparent Truck-mounted Rockets At Parade To Mark Its Founding

Palestinian terrorist group Hamas on Saturday (15th) marked the 31st anniversary of its establishment with a military-style parade near the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis.

The group showcased various weapons, such as what appeared to be rockets mounted on trucks, as well as elite unit members and snipers.

It was not clear whether the weapons on display were real and operational.

The parade was dedicated to members of the group’s military wing who exposed the activity of a special IDF unit that operated in the area one month ago.

On the night of November 11, an Israeli special forces unit operating inside Khan Younis was exposed following a search at a Hamas checkpoint, resulting in a firefight in which an Israeli lieutenant colonel was killed, along with seven Palestinian gunmen.

Saturday’s parade took place in front of the home of Nur Barakeh, the commander of Hamas’ East Khan Younis military wing, who was killed in the incident, news reports conveyed.



Mashaal Calls For Guerrilla Warfare To ‘Liberate West Bank’ And ‘All Of Palestine’

The former leader of the Hamas terror group has called on West Bank Palestinians to prepare for “guerrilla warfare”  in the West Bank and ongoing “resistance” to force Israel to retreat from the territory.

Khaled Mashaal said this would be a step on the way to its retreat from “all of Palestine.”

Speaking on the Al-Jazeera TV network in December, Mashaal, in a play on Rene Descartes’ famous philosophical proposition, said: “The Palestinians say ‘I resist, therefore I am’”

In comments translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, (MEMRI), Mashaal said that according to the Quran, “Jihad resistance, and self-defense are the essence of life”

“The abandonment of Jihad leads to humiliation and death.  Hence, resistance is the pinnacle of life.  A person who lives under occupation, and does not resist, is in fact dead.”

Mashaal, who headed Hamas’ political bureau between 1996 and 2017, claimed there was no alternative way to “liberate” the Palestinian nation.

“When did Israel withdraw from southern Lebanon?  It wasn’t a result of negotiations – not in Madrid and not in Washington.  It retreated as a result of resistance. When did it retreat from Gaza? After the Second Intifada in 2000 and the heroic resistance.  Today we are being called and preparing to force Israel to retreat from Jerusalem and from the West Bank. Allah willing, this is on the way to its retreat from all of Palestine,” he said.

He called on the West Bank’s Fatah to join Hamas in popular resistance against Israel, saying it should take an example from the people of the Gaza Strip.



‘Hizbullah Evades Israeli Bombs In Syria By Flying Russian Flag’

Moscow is allowing fighters from Hizbullah and other pro-Iranian Shiite groups operating in Syria to carry Russian flags in order to protect them from Israeli airstrikes , Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported Wednesday (12th).

The report follows a Russian snub earlier in the week to Israeli military officials, as Moscow appears reluctant to ease its anger over the loss of one of its planes during an IAF bombing raid in Syria in September.  The plane was brought down by Syrian missiles targeting the Israelis, but Moscow insists that Jerusalem did not provide sufficient warning of its strike to allow its aircraft to reach safety.

Russian flags were recently seen near the military airport in the Syrian city of Hama, where Iranian installations were attacked by the IAF in the past.  The flags were also flying in the cities of Homs and Idlib, as well as in the Syrian desert.

According to the report, Israel complained to Russia that its flags were spotted atop compounds and military convoys belonging to Iran and its allies in Syria.  The complaint came ahead of a senior Israeli military delegation visit to Moscow on Tuesday (11th).

The IDF delegation’s visit to Moscow on Tuesday was the first time that military officials from Israel and Russia met since Israel Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin visited Moscow in September.  Norkin went to Moscow to present the findings of an Israeli inquiry into how Syrian anti-aircraft shot down a Russian plane during an IAF air strike.

Meanwhile, the Russians are adamant in their refusal to reach an understanding with Israel on the issue.   



There Is No Arab Demographic ‘Time Bomb’ – Amb. Yoram Ettinger

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Jewish state is not facing an Arab demographic time bomb.  It benefits from a robust Jewish demographic tailwind of births and net immigration. From 1995 to 2017 the number of Israeli Jewish births surged by 74%, from 80,400 to 140,000, while the number of Israeli Arab births grew by 19%, from 36,000 to 43,000.  Moreover, the trend of Israeli emigration has slowed down.

In 1898 Simon Dubnov, a leading Jewish historian and demographer, projected 500,000 Jews in the Land of Israel by 1998, defining Theodor Herzl’s Zionist-vision as “messianic wishful thinking.”  In 1944, the founder of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Prof. Roberto Bachi, projected 2.3 million Jews in Israel in 2001.  In 2018 there are seven million Jews in Israel.

In 2000, the CBS projected a decline in the Jewish fertility rate from 2.6 births per woman to 2.4 in 2025.  However, by 2017 the Jewish fertility rate had risen to 3.16, and 76.5% of all Israeli births were Jewish, compared to 69% in 1995.  The rise of Jewish fertility reflects enhanced optimism, patriotism, attachment to roots, and communal responsibility among Israel’s secular population.

In 2018 there are 1.85 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, (not 3 million as claimed by the Palestinians), 1.6 million Israeli Muslim Arabs, 130,000 Israeli Druze, 130,000 Israeli Christian Arabs, and seven million Jews – a 65.5% Jewish majority in the combined area of pre-1967 Israel, Judea, and Samaria.

The writer is a member of the American-Israel Demographic Research Group.