News Digest — 10/13/22

Israel Puts Reservists On Alert As Mass Riots Engulf East Jerusalem

Israel said Thursday (13th) it has put Border Police reservists on alert as massive, violent riots that began a day earlier, spread all across east Jerusalem.

Palestinians say they are protesting Israeli police raids into Shuafat, located in the eastern Jerusalem sector, to hunt for a suspect in a deadly terror attack at a checkpoint over the weekend that killed a female Border Police officer, Noa Lazar, 18.

Riots and clashes that began late on Wednesday (12th), continued well into the night, with Palestinians hurling rocks, firing fireworks at Jewish houses, throwing Molotov cocktails at cars and assaulting security forces.

The rioters also set tires and garbage dumpsters on fire to block roads and entrances to Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

Two Israeli police officers were lightly wounded while attempting to disperse a violent riot in the neighborhood of Issawiya.  Police suspect the injuries were as a result of shrapnel from pipe bombs thrown at the officers.

Earlier on Wednesday (12th), Israeli security forces arrested five Palestinians during rioting across the eastern part of the capital.

As clashes continued into the early morning hours Thursday (13th), Border Police troops and undercover personnel raided several houses of suspected rioters, arresting nine Palestinians.

At the end of a situational assessment, Border Police chief Deputy Commissioner Amir Cohen decided to place 10 reservist companies on alert in case the situation escalates further.

“We will continue to act with determination against violent rioters, we bolstered Jerusalem and the West Bank with troops to address such events,” Cohen said.

Rocks were also thrown at Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion’s vehicle as he was driving in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud with a city council member.

“I trust the security forces to work day and night to make sure order is restored, and Jerusalem can return to holiday routine and host hundreds of thousands of visitors,” Lion said.

Meanwhile, during the night, IDF forces accompanied dozens of Jewish worshipers who entered Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.  Palestinian militants opened fire at them as they entered the grave, but there were no casualties or damage to property.

In addition, the Palestinian factions in Jerusalem issued a statement calling for reinforcing the presence of rioters and protesters against the siege of Shuafat.  They also called for mass prayers and declared Friday (14th) as “a day of rage” in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.



Israeli Government Approves Lebanon Maritime Border Deal

The Israeli government on Wednesday, (12th) approved the principles of the Lebanon maritime border agreement in a majority vote, and it was presented to the Knesset where it could be reviewed by legislators during the next two weeks before returning to the government for a final vote.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, ministers agreed on the importance of the deal with Lebanon, and its benefit to national security.

While there was an overwhelming majority in favor of the agreement, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked voted against it and Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel abstained.

The government was briefed by experts who presented the main principles of the new deal and its potential for stabilizing the region.

The agreement was presented to the Knesset on Wednesday evening (12th) where legislators have a two-week period to review it –  it will later be presented to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

After 14 days of parliamentary review, the agreement will be submitted for final cabinet approval, in accordance with the government’s work regulations and accompanied by an approval by the AG.

Lapid later Wednesday (12th) presented the agreement to leaders of the opposite factions in the Knesset, including Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara said that the government’s statutes require that the agreement be reviewed by the Knesset.  She said the government has the right to decide whether it must stand a vote, but doesn’t have to.

Earlier still, the security cabinet convened to give preliminary approval for the agreement between Israel and Lebanon.

This was after negotiators from the two countries on Tuesday (11th) said Lebanon and Israel received a final draft of a mediated maritime border deal from US Amos Hochstein and it “satisfied” all of the requirements.

National Security Council chief Eyal Hulata said in a briefing that Lebanon did not receive 100% of its demands.

“Lebanon’s interests were not entirely opposed to those of Israel,” Hulata said – “They wanted all the Qana field but were denied.” 

“The deal goes against Iran’s interest in Lebanon and weakens Hezbollah’s hold on the government in Beirut.  In Israel’s perspective, this was a catalyst to making the deal,” he said, adding that it will bolster regional security and prevent conflict with Lebanon.

Hulata noted that for the first time, Israel’s territorial borders will be recognized by Lebanon and the US, after decades of efforts.  Lebanon will submit to the UN a paper stating it has no more border demands from Israel, he said.  “This is an important achievement.  Lebanon is an enemy of Israel and we have many disputes still unsolved,” he said.

“The agreement will bring a strategic regional stability which will allow Israel to produce natural gas without interruption,” he said.

“By adding their consent, Hezbollah – motivated by their own political and economic considerations, has shifted from its previous policy to prevent the Beirut government from reaching any agreement with Israel,” he said.

Hulata said Israel was looking forward to the signing of the agreement that will be in the presence of all partners to the deal, on the Israel Lebanon border at Naqoura, where both countries complete their approval processes.



Surrounded By Friends and Loved Ones, Staff Sergeant Ido Baruch Laid To Rest

St.-Sgt. Ido Baruch, 21, who was killed Tuesday (11th) in a terrorist attack near Shavei Shomron in the northern West Bank, was laid to rest on Wednesday (12th) in the presence of a crowd of mourners.

Over a thousand friends and family members came to the cemetery in Gedara to accompany him on his last journey.

The young soldier’s father said kaddish for him, followed by Lt.-Col. Ariel Gonen, commanding officer of the elite Sayeret Givati unit, who eulogized him.

“Ido, we stand here shocked and pained by the unimaginable loss… You were a revered and loved commander and acted with determination and courage.  Ido had a spirit of dedication and love for people,” Gonen said.

Hendi, a friend of the family, also eulogized Baruch.  “What can be said about a child who is an angel, handsome and the salt of the earth?  There are no words that can describe the vast void.  Ido was murdered while working hard in the sacred work of protecting Israel, he is a son of all of us.”

The head of the Gedara Council, Yoel Gamliel, told Baruch’s parents that he was a special child.

“You raised a child with values, virtues and strengths.  He would do anything for the community,” he said.

“You were the best, you touched everyone. Your father and I loved you, our son – we are proud of you,” said Ido’s mother, who was the last to speak.

Roni Kalibitsky, Ido’s girlfriend, said the night before his death he called to tell her he was going on a mission.  I asked him if it was dangerous, and he said, “that’s nonsense – it will be fine.”  “That was the last time I heard from him,” she said.



Israelis In Judea And Samaria Facing Terror Attacks On Hourly Basis

Arab terrorists have carried out terror attacks on an hourly basis, according to the data of the Judea and Samaria emergency center, which registered 23 terror attacks in the past day.

These attacks include shootings, (one of which killed Staff Sergeant Ido Baruch near Shavei Shomron), explosives, a lynching attempt at Nebi Salah, rock attacks, and arson.

Israel’s security forces continued their counterterrorism operations throughout Judea and Samaria on Tuesday night (11th), including in the villages of Beit Sira, Deir Abu, Mashal, Issawiya and Hizma.

A total of 10 wanted persons were arrested.

There were no Israeli casualties in any of the operations.

The terrorists who killed Ido Baruch on Tuesday (11th) and Sergeant Noa Lazar on Saturday (8th) in Jerusalem have not been caught.  The security forces are still searching for Udai Tamimi who carried out the attack at the Shuafat checkpoint, and the terrorist who shot and killed Baruch.

The IDF and Israel’s security forces have arrested over 1,700 terror suspects and have prevented hundreds of terror attacks in the five months since the commencement of Operation Wave Breaker, Israel’s counterterrorism operation launched in May following several deadly terror attacks that the country experienced in recent months, leaving 22 Israelis dead.

However, Israeli analyst Yoni Ben Menachem, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), said that the arrest operation “is not achieving its goal, because the Palestinian Authority cannot be trusted to fight terrorism.”

“There is no escaping the conquering of northern Samaria with large forces for a limited period of time and cleansing it of the nests of terrorism,” he said, but Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz “may be taking their time because of political considerations.”



Portland Jewish Restaurant Defaced With Swastika

A Jewish restaurant in Portland, Oregon had its sign vandalized with a swastika, the latest in a series of antisemitic incidents of vandalism targeting the deli.

The owner of Ben & Esther’s Vegan Jewish Deli, Justin King, told KOIN 6 News that over the weekend a swastika was spray painted on the restaurant’s sign above a depiction of King’s grandparents.

King added that a few weeks ago the restaurant’s front door windows were smashed and two days in a row someone super glued the locks.

The restaurant also received a threatening phone call several months ago that was “specifically” antisemitic.

King told the news outlet that he filed a police report but has not heard back about any of the incidents.

“[The swastika vandalism] coincided with the end of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  To come right after Yom Kippur I think is significant and potentially was arranged like that,” he said.

King praised members of the community for their support.

“Seeing everyone’s reaction reaffirms our faith in our community,” King said.  “It’s nice to have the reinforcement and know that the larger community is affected by these things.”