New Digest — 9/11/23

Netanyahu Cautions Against Risky Uman Trip: ‘A Lot Of Jewish Blood Already Shed In Europe’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday (10th) urged religious Jews to avoid traveling on the annual pilgrimage to Uman, amid the risks posed by the continuing war in Ukraine.  The government allotted nearly one million dollars to provide assistance for those who decide to make the journey, and improve conditions at the site of the grave of a Hasidic leader.

“It is exceedingly dangerous.  People need to realize they are endangering themselves.  Too much Jewish blood has been shed in Europe.  How can we take such a risk?” Netanyahu asked.

He went on to explain that the danger must be made clear to citizens, citing Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky who informed him that his government would be able to provide shelter for  only 11,000 people at most, while nearly 40,000 were expected to arrive in Uman.  “God did not protect us in the past on European soil – and God did not protect us on Ukrainian soil.  I ask that it may be made clear to everyone, the extent of the danger – there are missiles that are falling there,” Netanyahu said.  Ultra Orthodox Shas Party leader Arye Deri responded by telling the prime minister that ‘God always protects us.’

The cabinet decided that the Foreign Ministry would coordinate the use of funds with the Ukrainian government and neighboring countries through which the pilgrims were expected to travel.

In its decision, the government said that during the pilgrimage last year, land border crossings into Ukraine saw congestion and delays.  Thousands of Israeli citizens were stranded for long hours in the cold and subpar conditions waiting to cross the border.  This situation was life threatening and resulted in a severe lack of basic necessities, creating a dire humanitarian crisis.

Ukraine was among the countries included in a travel warning for the Jewish Holidays, issued last week by the National Security Council, due to the war.  



Palestinians In West Bank Try To Fire Rocket At Israeli Town For 7th Time In Months

Palestinians in the northern West Bank attempted to launch a homemade rocket at a nearby Israeli town on Sunday morning (10th), the latest in a series of mostly unsuccessful attempts.

It was at least the 7th attempt by a group calling itself the al-Ayyash Battalion – apparently named for a notorious Hamas bomb maker killed by Israel – to fire rockets at Israeli towns and West Bank settlements in recent months.

The group said it had launched a rocket from the Jenin area at the Israeli town of Ram-On, adjacent to the northern West Bank security barrier. 

A video published  by the group on the Telegram messaging service showed a projectile mounted on a launcher before the video cut to show the rocket flying through the air.

There were no reports of damage or injuries as a result of the launch.  It was unclear how far the projectile flew.

The Israeli Defense Forces said the launcher was found in the village of Silat al-Harithiya, northwest of Jenin.

Following the attempted attack, the head of the Gilboa Regional Council demanded that the Iron Dome air defense system be deployed in the area.

“The IDF is well aware of the incident, and according to the update we received from the security forces, that rocket did not land in Israeli territory, and most likely exploded in PA territory,” Oved Nur said in a statement.

“As we have said again and again, there is a significant and urgent need to reinforce security and protection measures for the Gilboa towns in general, and those near the fence in particular.  We demand to deploy an iron Dome in our area and to act proactively in the Palestinian Authority’s territory to reduce the motivation to harm the citizens of the country,” he added.

Al-Ayyash Battalion has claimed to have launched several rockets at settlements and towns in northern Israel in recent months, publishing footage of the attempts.

The group’s rocket-launching attempts have largely failed.  However on July 9, security forces found the remains of a rocket in Ram-On, indicating that terrorists in the Jenin area possess the capability to launch rockets further than initially assessed.

Last week, Israeli troops arrested a member of the Hamas terror group in Jenin accused of being involved in the rocket launching attempts.

During a major IDF raid in Jenin in July, the military said troops located and seized a makeshift rocket among other weapons.

In May, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar said security forces had foiled attempts by Palestinians in the northern West Bank to manufacture rockets to be launched at Israel.  Bar said the efforts were led by a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader who was killed by Israel in the Gaza Strip during a five-day flareup in violence that month.


Aftershock Rattles Morocco As Rescuers Seek Survivors From The Earthquake That Killed Over 2,200

An Aftershock rattled Moroccans on Sunday (10th) as they were mourning victims of the nation’s strongest earthquake in more than a century and sought to rescue survivors while soldiers and aid workers raced to reach ruined mountain villages.  The disaster killed more than 2,200  people – a number that is expected to rise.

The United Nations estimated that 300,000 were affected by Friday night’s (8th) magnitude 7.2 quake and some Moroccans complained on social networks that the government wasn’t allowing more outside help.  International aid crews were poised to deploy, but some grew frustrated waiting for the government to officially request assistance.

“We know there is a great urgency to save people and dig under the remains of buildings,” said Arnaud Fraisse, founder of Rescuers Without Borders, who had a team stuck in Paris waiting for the green light.  “There are people dying under the rubble and we cannot do anything to save them.”

Meanwhile, flags were lowered across Morocco, as King Mohammed VI ordered three days of national mourning starting Sunday (10th).  The army mobilized search and rescue teams and the king ordered water, food rations and shelters to be sent to those who lost homes.

But Morocco did not make an international appeal for help like Turkey did in the hours following its earthquake, according to aid groups. 

Aid groups all over the world are waiting to help in the aftermath of the disaster, including Israel’s Hatzalah, and IsraAid organizations.

Friday’s (8th) quake was the strongest one to hit the North African country in over 120 years, according to USGs records dating to 1900, but it was not the deadliest.  In 1960, a magnitude 5.8 temblor struck near the city of Agadir, killing at least 12,000.  That quake prompted Morocco to change construction rules, but many buildings, especially rural homes, are still not built to withstand such tremors.

In 2004,a magnitude 6.4 earthquake near the Mediterranean coastal city of Al Hoceima left more than 600 dead.

Friday’s quake was felt as far away as Portugal and Algeria, according to the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere, and Algeria’s Civil Defense agency.



Mossad Director Warns Iran: ‘Harm To Israelis Will Lead To Strike In heart Of Tehran’

Mossad Director David Barnea, during a conference at Richman University in Herzliya on Sunday (10th) revealed that Iran intended to sell Russia short and long missiles, but the deal was shut down.

“They intend to sell additional arms, which will be shut down as well.  Our fear is that in return, the Russians will transfer advanced weaponry to the Iranians that would certainly threaten our wellbeing and even our existence here,” he stated.

According to him, “Tehran continues trying to get the status of an enlightened country.  They hide behind a story.  As Iran’s self-confidence grows, so do its efforts to spread terrorism around the world since it feels that it won’t pay a high price.”

“We see a significant rise in attempts to harm Jews and Israelis around the world.  In the past year, we foiled, together with our partners, 27 terror attacks worldwide,” he said.

Barnea declared that “until now, we only hit the commanders, the time has come that we take a different toll on Iran.  Harm to an Israeli or a Jew, in any way, would lead to action deep in Iran  and even in the heart of Tehran, from the executive level to the decision-makers.”

“Iran continues its non-stop efforts to harm Israelis and Jews around the world through terror cells.  They hide behind proxies.  It doesn’t work with us,” he concluded.

During his speech, Barnea presented a video that reveals Iran’s deep involvement in global terror and shows terrorists admitting that they were sent by official intelligence and security organizations to harm Israelis and Jews.

According to him, these reveal Iran’s fingerprints on terror operations and demonstrate that Iran can not deny its responsibility for terrorism even as it hides behind missions that aren’t Iranian.

“The Iranian regime has no room for denial, and most importantly – it has no immunity” Barnea emphasized.

He stressed the importance of building an international “offensive alliance” against Iran, which would “work to restrain it in all channels and would take a financial, diplomatic, and legal toll for its nuclear, regional, and terror activity.”

In his address, Barnea called on the nations of the free world to stop holding back against Iran and congratulated the US for its determined work to ensure free passage through the Arabian Gulf.



Steps Where Jesus Said To Heal Blind Man Unearthed In Jerusalem

Steps were uncovered at the ancient Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, which haven’t been seen in over 2,000 years, reports said Thursday (7th).

The significance of this discovery is that it’s the location where Jesus healed the blind man in John 9, in the New Testament, Fox News reported.  The location itself was first mentioned in the Old Testament, a recent Washington Times report said.

The discovery was made by archaeologists after making significant progress in excavating the site.  Approximately eight steps were unearthed, the Fox News report said.

This was as the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel National Parks Authority and the City of David Foundation announced earlier this year that the ancient Pool of Siloam would be open to the public for the first time in 2,000 years.  Until recently, only a small section of the location has been completely excavated, and is already accessible to the public.  The site was at one point 1.25 acres, according to the Times report.  It is expected that more of the site will become accessible over time as more areas will be unearthed, as the site holds importance to both Christians and Jews, according to Fox News.

Rev. John Moore, President of the Congress of Christian Leaders, told the news media that “In the Pool of Siloam, we find evidence of history preserved for us, revealed at just the right time.”

“Theologically, it affirms scripture; geographically it affirms scripture, and politically, it affirms Israel’s unquestionable and unrivaled link to Jerusalem.  This find is undeniable, it is proof of the story of the Bible and its people, Israel,” he continued.

The Pool of Siloam was built approximately 2,700 years ago, and was used as part of Jerusalem’s water system, the Fox News report stated.