News Digest — 10/17/22

Security Forces Arrest Alleged Terrorists; East Jerusalem Clashes Rage On

IDF soldiers entered Nablus on Sunday evening (16th) to arrest Hamza al-Azzi, who was wanted under suspicion of taking part in terrorist activity.

At the same time, IDF and Border Police officers worked together in the village of Karawat Bani Hassan to arrest another wanted person allegedly connected to terrorist activity as well as to confiscate terrorist funds.

Both arrested men were transferred for further investigation by security forces.

This took place as there were additional reports of violent clashes between security forces and rioters in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.  Four people were injured.

The clashes come as Israel has reached a state of increased tension in the West Bank, with security forces having entered Jenin last Friday (14th) to operate against terror groups in the region.

During the operation, there was an exchange of fire, during which three Palestinians were killed, one a doctor from Ramallah who had taken part in shooting at security forces.

The other two were Mateen Dabaya, a gunman for the Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, and Abdullah Abu al-Teen, a senior member of the armed wing of Fatah, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

The clashes saw the cooperation between the armed groups of the ruling Fatah faction and the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad.



Amid Terror Wave In Judea And Samaria: Lapid Holds Special Security Discussion

Amid the escalation in Judea and Samaria over the past month, Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Sunday (16th) held a special security discussion at the Kiray base in Tel Aviv.

The discussion was attended by Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and senior members of the defense establishment, and followed lengthy discussions led by Gantz throughout the last few days.

A political source told Channel 13 News on Sunday evening (16th) that the various officials discussed the continuation of the IDF’s operational activity and the ways to prevent further escalation.

At the same time, an official in the defense establishment told Kan 11 News that security forces have been able to dramatically reduce the number of attacks coming out of the city of Shechem (Nabus) in recent days.  The official added that the blockade of the city will remain indefinitely, and as needed.

Earlier in the day, following a security assessment by Gantz, it was decided to revoke the entry permits of 164 relatives of terrorists in the city of Nablus and its environs.

In the past year, Israel has prevented the entry of 2,500 relatives of Palestinian Authority terrorists who carried out terror attacks against Israeli citizens.

Meanwhile, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) cleared for publication on Sunday (16th) that as part of a joint effort between the Shin Bet and Israel Police, two Israeli citizens from the Negev region who were in contact with a member of a  terror organization in the Gaza Strip were arrested.

The investigation found that the two men were found in contact with a terrorist who lives in the Gaza Strip.  The parties’ communication included transferring funds to the terrorist at his request.



The Price Of Terrorism Is Paid By West Bank Merchants

Fewer and fewer Israeli Arabs are entering northern West Bank cities due to the Israeli raids and closures.

The merchants of the West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin are seeing the effects of terrorist attacks as fewer people visit these neighborhoods.

Israeli Arabs that enter the northern cities of the West Bank make a significant contribution to the economic activity of Nablus and Jenin.  However, the terror attacks originating in the two cities, and the Israeli military’s near-daily raids to stop these attacks, mean that fewer and fewer Israeli Arabs are entering the northern West Bank cities.

Additionally, the Israeli army has set up closures on entry and exit points to and around Nablus, with local merchants affected by the situation and paying the price.

In recent weeks, there has been a significant decrease in Israeli Arabs entering the northern West Bank.  Data obtained by Israel’s i24News shows that, on average weekdays, between 3,500 and 4,000 vehicles enter Jenin, and the number rises to 9,000 on the weekends.

However, there has been a 30% drop in the last two weeks, resulting in economic damage estimated at $8 million.  For each day the Gilboa crossing – the northernmost crossing in the West Bank – is closed, the financial cost is estimated at approximately $420,000.

The decline is even more dramatic in Nablus.  On regular weekdays, between 4,000 and 6,000 vehicles enter from Israel, and between 8,000 and 10,000 on weekends.  As of last week there had been a 50% decrease in the number of Israeli Arabs traveling to the region.



From Hitler To Putin: Palestinian Habit Of Always Backing Wrong Side – Ben-Dror Yemini

When it comes to major international conflicts throughout history, the Palestinian leadership has often, if not always, chosen to support “the wrong side.”  From Adolf Hitler to Saddam Hussein, and now Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas has opted to side. 

During World War II, the Palestinians faced the decision to either support the Axis alliance or the great Allied Powers.  They chose the Nazi Reich.  Their then-leader Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini spent the duration of the war in Berlin, and allegedly advised Hitler to destroy all Jews in the Arab world.  Local Arab communities were ecstatic when Nazi General Erwin Rommel invaded Egypt and headed for Palestine.

Al-Husseini also rejected the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, leading to Nakba, also known as the Palestinian Catastrophe.  In the 60s, then PLO-leader Ahmad Shukeiri, conspired with Jordan, leading to their defeat in the 1967 Six-Day War.

An Arab businessman I met in Dubai told me that his father never stopped donating money to the Palestinian cause, believing their struggle was part of a common cultural identity.  The donations stopped when then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat chose to support Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.  As far as the Arab world was concerned, the Palestinians bit the hand that fed them.

When terror attacks were carried out in the US by Islamic terrorist groups, the Palestinians celebrated in the same way they do when Israeli civilians are killed in our country.  But something has slowly begun to change in the way the Arab world views the Palestinians – otherwise the Abraham Accords wouldn’t have been signed in 2020.

This brings us to the Palestinian latest decision to back Russia over Western Powers in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  A high-profile Palestinian journalist said back in May: “Ukraine and its people are ruined.  The winner is Iran.”  Then, it seemed it was only him who believed that, but now it’s clear the destructive nature of the Palestinians has prevailed once again.

Last week, the Russian-backed Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia took place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.  Only two Arab leaders attended the summit: Kuwait, which sponsors entities associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and Mahmoud Abbas.

It doesn’t matter how warm the embrace of the US administration is to him, or how many billions the European Union sends his way, Abbas opts to back a ruthless dictator – just like the Mufti backed Hitler and like Arafat supported Saddam.  It appears there is no abandoning the old and failing Palestinian way.



Thousands Of Christian Pilgrims March In Jerusalem After Pandemic Hiatus

Thousands of Christian pilgrims took to the streets of Jerusalem on Thursday (13th) as part of the 43rd annual Feast Of Tabernacles celebrations.

The colorful celebration marked the largest Christian gathering in Israel since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and a return to the popular parade, which was canceled in recent years due to travel restrictions.

An estimated 3,000 pilgrims from 70 nations took part in the events in addition to thousands of Israelis, according to the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ), which helped sponsor it.

“For Bible-believing Christians around the world, this march is our chance to tell Israel, to tell the Jewish people, and through the media to tell the world, that we believe that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel now and forever, “said Barry Denison, vice president of operations at the ICEJ.

A staple in the city since 1955, the Jerusalem march takes place during the weeklong Jewish holiday of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.

In its earliest iterations, the event was organized by the IDF as a kind of military parade, but over the years, more and more civilians began taking part.

Christian pilgrims first joined in the annual celebration in 1980 to show solidarity with the State of Israel.

Numbering 660 million people, evangelicals are the fastest-growing stream of Christians in the world.  This year’s parade included delegations from dozens of countries, with attendees marching and dancing as locals stood on the sidelines cheering and waving.

“This is our first time here, but we’re going to be coming more and more,” said Stella, a pilgrim from Toronto, Canada.  “It’s such a thrill to see so many nations together supporting the State of Israel and loving the people of Israel.”

Among those marching was also Peyman, an Iranian-American who was visiting Israel and participated in the parade for the first time.

One pastor, Juha Ketola, from Finland expressed joy over following his religious beliefs.  “We are here because of the Bible and Jesus.  The Bible is very clear: The city of Jerusalem is undivided and belongs to Israel, so we are here to show our support publicly, We stand with Israel.”

The march was led by Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, together with ICEJ President Dr. Juergen Buehler.



‘We Don’t Want Jews’ – Letter Threatens To Murder French Teacher Like Samuel Paty

A French Jewish teacher was threatened with death in an antisemitic letter sent to the high school that employed him, according of an image of the letter published by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF).

“The dirty Jew needs to stop being clever.  We’re going to give a Samuel Paty to him and his father, the old Zionist rabbi.  We don’t want Jews in high schools, stay in your synagogues.  We’re going to take care of [the teacher] when we leave high school,” the letter reportedly received by Georges Brassens High School in the Paris suburb of Evry-Courcouronnes, stated.

Samuel Paty was a French teacher decapitated by an Islamist terrorist in a Paris suburb in 2020.  The Chechen-French teenager murdered Paty over his showing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression.

The terrorist was shot by police and killed during the attack.  Almost a dozen were arrested and charged with conspiring to assist the killer.  Those charged included students.  The attacker had asked students to point out his target before he murdered him.

Yonathan Arfi, President of CRIF, responded to the letter’s demand to remove Jews from schools, by saying “what I don’t want in high schools is antisemitism, and the hatred of teachers.” 

Arfi noted that the letter came almost two years after the murder of Paty, and he called for the support of teachers, “who are always targets.”