March 23, 2018

Jerusalem on high alert ahead of holidays

The two terror attacks in the past seven days in Mevo Dotan and Jerusalem’s Old City, which claimed the lives of three Israelis in total, naturally put defense forces across the country on high alert ahead of the coming Passover holiday, but doubly so in the capital.

In Jerusalem, this heightened level of alert is manifested in the increased deployment of Border Police and security forces in the Old City, where many Israelis as well as tourists will spend some of the upcoming Passover holiday.



Israel to deploy tear gas drones against Gaza border protests – Stuart Winer

Israeli Border Police are planning to deploy a newly developed drone that can drop tear gas to disrupt Palestinian demonstrators planning to march on the border fence between Israel and Gaza in the coming weeks, Border Police Deputy Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai told Hadashot TV on Wednesday (22nd).  “Beyond the fact that this equipment neutralizes any danger to the troops, it enables reaching places that until now we couldn’t get to,” he said.

The test of the tear gas drone during a protest two weeks ago was considered a success.  The drone enables security forces to engage the rioters before they approach the security fence.  The IDF will also be building sniper positions, setting up lookout posts and laying down barbed wire in the area.



Despite ongoing Hamas attacks, Israel approves Gaza relief measures

On Tuesday (20th), the Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) agency and the IDF agreed to a series of relief measures to help ordinary citizens who are suffering under the grip of its Islamist rulers Hamas.

Israel has adopted the approach despite the ongoing terror-tunnel building efforts, laying of explosives at the border fence – the latest as recent as Saturday (17th) – and constant anti-Israel rhetoric emanating from the terrorist organization that rules the Strip with an iron fist.



Palestinian forces kill 2 suspects in Gaza assassination attempt

According to a Hamas official, the main suspect in the attack on the convoy of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on March 13 has died along with an accomplice after being shot by Gazan security forces who had surrounded their hideout Thursday (22nd).

Two of the arresting forces were also killed in the gun battle in Nuseirat.



Israeli policy paper calls for international recognition of Israeli sovereignty in Golan

An Israeli policy paper that calls for international recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights was presented at a Tel Aviv conference on Wednesday (21st).

The 86-page document, titled “Observations on the National Strategy for the Golan Heights” was written by Zvi Hauser, a former cabinet secretary under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Itzik Tsarfati, a former attorney and chairman of the Coalition for the Israeli Golan.

The policy paper argues that for the first time in 50 years, “Israel has an opportunity to receive recognition of its sovereignty over the Golan as a consequence of the war in Syria.”



Palestinian claim to dead Sea Scrolls may be next up at UNESCO

The next “prize” the Palestinians will likely claim as their own at UNESCO will probably be the archeological site at Qumran and its Dead Sea Scrolls, Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said on Wednesday (21st).

He spoke at a panel on the denial of Jewish history in international organizations at the Foreign Ministry-sponsored sixth Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority has a tentative list of 13 additional sites it seeks to register at UNESCO.  The Qumran Caves and the Dead Sea Scrolls are on that list.



Father of Polish prime minister says Jews gladly moved to ghettos to get away from non-Jews

A former Polish politician who is the father of the country’s prime minister said that Jews during the Holocaust moved to ghettos of their own accord to get away from non-Jewish Poles.

Kornel Morawiecki, a former senator whose son, Mateusz, became prime minister last year, made the remark in an interview published Tuesday (20th) by the online magazine Kultura Liberalna.

“Do you know who chased the Jews away to the Warsaw Ghetto?  The Germans, you think? No. The Jews themselves went because they were told that there would be an enclave, that they would not have to deal with those nasty Poles,” said Kornel Morawiecki.



Taylor Force Act moves forward in Senate – Jacob Kornbluh

The Senate is expected to pass the Taylor Force Act as part of the $1.3 trillion omnibus appropriations bill this week, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-SC), who introduced the legislation last year.  The bipartisan bill will cut off US economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority until they cease payments to terrorists and their families. The House passed the Taylor Force Act in December.

Graham said, “This will give us leverage with the Palestinians to push back on what I think is outrageous.  You can make more money being a terrorist than getting a real job. This has to end.”



Palestinian protesters want U.S. offices closed in West Bank

Dozens of Palestinian protesters gathered outside America House in Ramallah on Wednesday (21st) to call for the closure of U.S. offices in the West Bank.  “We will not abandon our demand that U.S. institutions be expelled from Palestine,” said Essam Abu Baker, coordinator of the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces.  Affiliated with the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, America House was established in 2010 to promote U.S. culture.



IDF trains U.S. Jews to help themselves, Israelis in event of natural disaster – Hanan Greenwood

The IDF’s Home Front Command recently began training dozens of Jewish American volunteers to help Israelis in the event of a devastating natural disaster.  Last week representatives from the Home Front Command, Israel Fire and Rescue Services and Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon flew to Atlanta, Georgia, to teach locals how to use household items in search and rescue efforts.

Similar training sessions have been held in Israel since 2013.  Seven sessions have been planned for 2018, where hundreds of American civilians will be trained to help in the aftermath of a natural disaster, both in Israel and in their own communities.  “We learned from events around the world that 90% of people who were trapped after earthquakes were saved by their neighbors,” said Lt. Inbar Levy of the Home Front Command.