News Digest — 2/12/19

Israel Arrests Palestinian Suspect In Teenage Girl’s Killing

Israeli security forces early Saturday (9th) arrested a Palestinian man suspected in the brutal murder of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher who was found dead on Thursday (7th) in a forest on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

The Shin Bet security agency and police said in a statement that 29-year-old Palestinian suspect, identified  as Arafat Irfaiya, was arrested during a raid in the city of Ramallah in Judea and Samaria and confessed to the crime.

DNA samples taken at the scene were cross-referenced with a criminal database and he was identified quickly.  Infaiya had been in an Israeli prison before on weapons charges so his DNA was in the system.

Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that the murder is being viewed as terroristic in nature.

Ansbacher was buried Friday (8th) in the community of Tekoa amid calls by hard-line Jews for revenge.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended the security forces for “apprehending – within a few hours – the abhorrent murderer.”

Both Netanyahu and his wife Sara paid respects to the Ansbacher family on Sunday (10th) in Tekoa, to express their condolences.   



Danon To UN: Condemn The Barbaric Murder

Following the murder of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, called for an urgent meeting with Anatolio Ndong Mba, the Equatorial Guinea Ambassador to the United Nations, who is currently serving as the president of the UN Security Council, and demanded that the Council publicly condemn the terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

“The Security Council’s silence will not help in this fight against terrorism, and will only allow the waves of hatred to grow unchecked.  While this silence continues, the PA maintains its policy of paying salaries for terrorists and educating its youth with incitement, and a 19-year-old girl was brutally murdered in Israel,” said Danon.

“The Security Council has the responsibility and moral duty to make a clear condemnation of this barbaric murder and to act firmly against the culture of terror in the Palestinian Authority, the very culture that undermines stability in the region and destroys innocent lives,” he added.

An Arab from Hebron was arrested over the weekend for the murder of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher, whose remains were found next to the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem Thursday night (7th).

The suspect was caught in a mosque in Al-Bireh, an Arab village adjoining Ramallah.  Authorities pinpointed his location following forensic evidence collected at the scene by police and the Shin Bet security service.



Egypt Intervenes After 2 Palestinians Killed in Friday Riots

Egypt has managed to rein in the various terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip after two Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire after hurling explosives at Israeli troops during border riots on Friday (8th), the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported Sunday (10th).

According to the report Egypt is trying to keep the security situation in Gaza from escalating, which would affect attempts at a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.

Egyptian officials reportedly held meetings with representatives of Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups in Gaza over the weekend.  The meetings came after Egyptian officials met with Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives last week to try to calm the situation.

Friday’s (8th) protests drew thousands of Palestinians who gathered at five locations along the fence, throwing rocks and explosives toward IDF forces stationed behind the frontier.

Beside the two dead Palestinians, 17 others were wounded.

An IDF Spokesman said troops had faced off with more than 6,000 Palestinians, using riot dispersal equipment and only opening fire in accordance with standard operating procedures.

The protest campaign, launched by Hamas last March, has become a weekly event.  Israel accuses Hamas of exploiting the protests as a cover to carry out attacks against its soldiers.

Just last week, Israel began reinforcing its fence, erecting a galvanized steel barrier 20 feet high that will run the length of Gaza’s perimeter.



Israel To Slash PA Tax Funds Next Week As Pay-For-Slay Law Takes Effect

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday morning (10th) that tax funds slated to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) will be reduced based on figures the PA released reflecting its salaries to terrorists and the families of those killed while committing terror-related crimes.

Israel is taking these steps to comply with a law passed in July requiring the government to deduct funds from the PA based on its policy of terror stipends, which increase in proportion to the heinousness of the crime.

The tax revenue is collected by Israel on behalf of the PA and is transferred to Ramallah on a regular basis under the terms of the Oslo Accords.

The new law requires Israel to obtain data on PA’s annual expenditures for terror salaries, which amounted to NIS 1.2 billion in both 2017 and 2018, and to deduct those amounts from transfers to the PA.

According to the PA, it will refuse all transfers moving forward if Israel makes the deductions, which could cost the Palestinian government around $100 million each month.

Israel passed the terror salary legislation after the U.S. instituted a law called the Taylor Force Act, which denies the Palestinians aid unless the PA ceases pay-for-slay payments.  The law was named for an American student who was murdered in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian terrorist on a vicious stabbing rampage.



Sierra Leone’s Greatest Zionist – Itamar Eichner  

All it took was one visit for Adikalie Foday Sumah to fall in love with Israel.  The Sierra Leone diplomat visited the country last year, as part of a delegation of United Nations envoys hosted by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, and was so impressed by what he saw that immediately afterwards founded a pro-Israel organization.

Sumah’s organization, the Sierra Leone-Israel Friendship Society, works to change voting patterns against Israel at the UN and in the Sierra Leone Parliament, as well as to strengthen ties between the two countries.

“When I came to Israel, I saw how much strength and ability this country has.  It is a country that mixes Jews, Christians and Muslims, and God has put it above all else,” Sumah said.

Israel has long-accused the UN of subjecting it to unfair criticism, while ignoring violations by other nations.  Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon admitted during his tenure that Israel had been criticized and sometimes discriminated against because of the conflict with the Palestinians.

“Decades of political maneuvering have created a disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel,” Ban said in 2016.  “In many cases, instead of helping the Palestinian issue, this reality has foiled the ability of the UN to fulfill its role effectively.”

Sumah approached Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio, and asked him to work to promote joint projects with Israel.  A letter with a similar request was also sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

At a recent press conference held by the Sierra Leone-Israel Friendship Society, its members called on the Sierra Leone government to work to establish embassies in the capitals of the two countries.  At the moment, Israel has an ambassador in Senegal who is entrusted with nurturing ties with Sierra Leone as well, while Sierra Leone has an honorary consul in Tel Aviv.

The Sierra Leone-Israel Friendship Society enjoys bipartisan support in the Sierra Leone Parliament.  “Thanks to Israel’s abilities in the fields of education, technology and industry, the sky’s the limit for Sierra Leone,” said an official in the society.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon welcomed Sumah’s initiative, calling it “further testimony of the ambassadorial delegations’ contribution to Israel.”

“The ambassadors return to the UN and to their countries with a positive view of Israel, and this receives expression in their voting patterns toward us, in ongoing cooperation, and as we see in Sierra Leone – also in establishing local pro-Israel organizations,” Danon said.