News Digest — 10/4/23

3-Year-Old Injured In Rock Attack

A three-year-old girl was injured Wednesday morning (4th) after Palestinian Authority (PA) Arabs hurled rocks at the vehicle in which she was traveling, in Samaria.

The rock attack, which occurred in the PA town of Huwara, left the pre-schooler lightly injured.

She was treated by military medics at the scene and did not require evacuation to the hospital.

This is the second time this week that a young child has been injured in a rock attack.   On Sunday, (1st) terrorists hurled rocks and firebombs towards vehicles traveling between Homesh and Shavei Shomron in Samaria.

One of the rocks hit a vehicle and shattered its window.  An infant who was riding in the vehicle was slightly injured by the broken glass.

A military force and military medics examined the infant, who was treated and bandaged at the scene.  She did not require evacuation to the hospital.



Iran Can’t Stop Israeli-Saudi Peace, Netanyahu Says In Message To Ayatollah

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday (3rd) shot down Iran’s attempt at sowing criticism toward Israel’s growing normalized status in the Middle East.

“Iran will not prevent Israel from further expanding the circle of peace for the benefit of Israel’s citizens, the peoples of the region, and all of humanity,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday (3rd) in response to Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s public dismissal of the “Zionist regime.”

Earlier on Tuesday, (3rd) Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said countries seeking to normalize relations with Israel “are betting on a losing horse,” Iranian state media outlets reported.

“The definite position of the Islamic Republic is that countries that make the gamble of normalization with Israel will lose,” he stated.

A different post by Khamenei on X read: “The Zionist regime is dying…the usurper regime is coming to an end.”

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also responded to Khamenei’s posts on X saying, “The murderous terror regime in Iran has already succeeded in dissolving several countries it has taken over.  Now it is trying to sabotage peace efforts with idle threats.”

“Iran will continue to act to spread terror and destruction,” he wrote.  “Israel will continue to achieve security for its citizens and peace in the Middle East.”



‘Praying In Riyadh Towards Jerusalem’  – Israeli Minister Reads From Torah In Saudi Arabia

Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi read from the Torah alongside other Jewish guests in his hotel in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning (3rd), signaling the growing closeness of a normalization agreement between the two countries.

Karhi posted pictures to his X account showing him reading from a Torah scroll as well as shaking a lulav (a frond from a date palm tree).

“Even here in Riyadh we had the privilege of praying with the windows open in the direction of Jerusalem.  Happy Holiday,” Karhi wrote as a caption to the images, alongside emojis of the Saudi and Israeli flags.

The minister is currently in the Gulf Kingdom on the heels of ongoing peace negotiations between Riyadh and Jerusalem.

Karhi is scheduled to attend the Universal Postal Union’s Fourth Extraordinary Congress later this week, alongside Knesset Economic Committee Chairman MK David Bitan.

The conference is focused on the future of international mail services.

Upon arriving in the country on Monday evening (2nd), Karhi wrote that “our faces are turned towards peace.”  He added that he and the rest of the Israeli diplomatic delegation “will meet with representatives from around the globe and we will bring peace closer between Israel and Saudi Arabia.”

The fact that Karhi openly engaged in Jewish prayer and posted the pictures on his public social media account demonstrates a market shift in Saudi Arabia’s attitude towards Judaism.

Traditionally, the gulf country has not only forbidden Israeli visitors, but tourists of Jewish origin.

In 2004, when Saudi Arabia began granting tourist visas to non-Muslims, a senior official specifically said that Jews would not be granted permission to enter the country.

Hebrew-language media recently reported that the Gulf Kingdom is quietly removing anti-Semitic content within its education curriculum and textbooks, ahead of a likely normalization agreement with Israel.



PA Prime Minister: ‘Area C Is Ours’ – Coalition MKs: ‘It Is Historic Israel’

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh created a ministerial committee to promote the development of Area C, declaring that region of the West Bank to be an “integral part of the State of Palestine.”

He warned his cabinet on Monday (2nd) that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government was working to “annex” that region.  It comprises 60% of the West Bank and is under IDF military and civilian control, but the PA believes that all of that territory should be part of its final borders.

Coalition members in Netanyahu’s government immediately responded, retorting that: “The Jewish people have a natural, historical and legal right to the entire Land of Israel.  Even Mohammed Shtayyeh can’t oppose this basic truth.”

The statement was issued by Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Yuli Edelstein, MK Limor Sonn Har Melech and MK Simha Rothman.

The three politicians believe that Area C, which they refer to as Judea and Samaria, should be part of Israel’s final borders and support the application of sovereignty to that territory.

“If we do not wake up and increase enforcement and stop the PA’s actions, it will be a cry for generations,” they stated.



10,000 Rally To Save Biblical Site Endangered By PA

Settlements and National Missions Minister Orit Strook, local politicians and some 10,000 Israelis marched to Joshua’s Altar in Judea and Samaria this week, attempting to raise awareness of the Palestinian Authority’s intention to destroy the Biblical site.

Joshua’s Altar, which is believed to be the site where the Israelites built an altar immediately upon entering the Land of Israel after the Exodus, is located on Mt. Ebal.

The PA has repeatedly stated its intention to build a new Palestinian neighborhood atop the mountain, which would include paving over the remains of Joshua’s Altar and other archeological sites.

“In the face of the barbaric destruction that the Palestinian Authority is trying to carry out here, all this to erase the connection of the people of Israel to their land and their roots, we stand here and we say – the people of Israel will win,” said Yossi Dagan, Samaria Regional Council head.

“Living in Samaria is not only a privilege to enjoy this beautiful land, living in Samaria is also a responsibility to preserve the sacred places of our history, to preserve civilization,” he added.

“We respect all people, every human being, but the Land of Israel and the State of Israel will exercise our sovereignty here – and in this place on Mt Ebal, at the Altar of Joshua ben Nun, there will be a heritage site worthy of a central place in history of the people of Israel,” he concluded. 

Minister Strook said that the government “will not stand by” and that a Cabinet discussion regarding next steps to protect the site will be held in the near future.

The march comes on the heels of an attempt by the UN’s UNESCO organization to designate the Old City of Jericho, an area with thousands of years of rich Jewish history, as a “Palestinian heritage site.”



Ancient Sassoon Codex Gets Send-Off At Sotheby’s Before Trip To Israel

Just before the Sassoon Codex – the oldest complete copy of the Hebrew bible arrives to its permanent home in Israel – the ANU Museum of the Jewish People held a special event at Sotheby’s in New York Tuesday night (3rd) in honor of the manuscript.  Along with the excited museum staff, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan and a guest from the United Arab Emirates also came to see the ancient Bible.

Irina Nevzlin, the chairman of the museum’s board of directors, shared with those present her personal story,and how for her it was a coming full circle.

“I grew up in a home where I wasn’t allowed to know I was Jewish.  I did not see a Torah or any of the books of the Bible in my life until the age of 13.  When I saw the Bible for the first time, it was at the age of 13 in a Jewish school, and I could not read Hebrew.  And now, when I come here, in front of Codex Sassoon, I can now read ‘Shema Israel.’  So, for me, this is a very personal journey,” Nevzlin said.

“I have always been proud of the Jewish people.  This book proves something, that it is not only a survival, it also has hundreds and thousands of years of success as the Book of the people.  We couldn’t be more proud that we have a unique opportunity to be part of this history of bringing it home.”

The Sassoon Codex is the most complete ancient Bible that exists today in the world.  With the exception of 12 pages from Genesis, it contains all the Books of the Bible as we know them today.  According to estimates, it was written at the beginning of the tenth century in southern Syria.  It was purchased in May at an auction at Sotheby’s in New York for a whopping $38.1 million, making it the most expensive Jewish manuscript ever sold.

The Codex is named after its previous owner David Solomon Sassoon, who had the most outstanding private collection of ancient Jewish texts in the world.

“This Bible represents the development of the Hebrew language,” said Orit Shechem Gober, the museum’s chief curator.  “So for us, as a museum of the Jewish people, this is one item that represents such a large chapter of the Jewish story.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan told those at the event about the importance of the Bible in the war for the heritage of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in the world.

“This is a very exciting event for me,” he said.  “The Bible with its commandments and traditions, preserved the existence of the Jewish people for thousands of years while many great empires collapsed.  And today, bringing this ancient Bible to Israel has a special international importance.”

“Today, our enemies attempt to use the United Nations to erase and distort history and the truth, to claim that the Jewish people have no connection to the Land of Israel or to Jerusalem.  This ancient Bible, the Sassoon Codex, is the best proof against their lies.  All the truth about our history and our connection to Israel and Jerusalem is contained in it and there is nothing more important than bringing it to Israel.  The Jewish people returned to their homeland and now this book of truth is returning to its country,” Erdan said.

Among those present was Ahmed Obaid Almansoori, who founded a museum for the history of Zionism and the memory of the Holocaust in Dubai.  “For us in the Middle East, I think religion brings us together and we have many things in common,” he told those present.

The complete journey of the ancient Bible from southern Syria will be published in the coming days on Ynet.