News Digest — 12/17/21

One Killed, Two Injured In Judea Samaria Terror Attack

One Israeli was killed and two were injured after they were shot at by terrorists outside an outpost in Judea and Samaria on Thursday (16th).  The dead man was identified as Yehuda Dimentman, 25, father of one, and a student at the Homesh Yeshiva.

The victims were shot while in their car, reported to be near the settlement of Shavei Shomron and the Homesh outpost, west of Nablus, the IDF said.

Yehuda Dimentman received a bullet to the head, critically injuring him.  He was transferred to the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva, where he later passed away.  The other two  travelers were lightly injured and taken to Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba.

“I treated three people at the scene, one in critical condition with a gunshot wound and two others who were injured but conscious,” said United Hatzalah volunteer and EMT Netanel Illouz.

Following the attack the IDF closed off the entrance to Nablus and set up checkpoints in the surrounding areas.

“Together with all the people of Israel, I send heartfelt condolences to the family of the victim killed tonight in Samaria,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted.

He wished the injured a speedy recovery and added that “Security forces will soon find and arrest the terrorists.”

Meanwhile, Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev tweeted shortly after the attack that “Palestinian terror is once again rearing its ugly head.”

Hamas reportedly praised the attack.



Israeli Terror Victim Laid To Rest As US Condemns Palestinian Attack

Yehuda Dimentman, 25, the Israeli terror victim from Thursday night (16th), was laid to rest on Friday (17th) with hundreds at his funeral.  The funeral procession departed from the Shavei Shomron settlement and passed through the site of the attack and continued to Jerusalem.

“We strongly condemn the terror attack Thursday (16th) in the West Bank that killed an Israeli citizen and wounded others.  Our thoughts are with the victims of this attack and their families,” tweeted the US State Department spokesperson Ned Price early Friday morning (17th).

“Homesh will be here forever,” said Rabbi Elishama Cohen at the funeral.  “The mark that Yehuda left here in the yeshiva will remain here forever.”

“How were you taken away from us, so cruelly, simply for being a Jew living in this land?” said Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan.

From Thursday night (16th) to Friday (17th), IDF and security forces searched the area near the terrorist attack that killed Dimentman near the Shavei Shomron settlement.

A few Palestinian individuals, with a suspected connection to the cell members who carried out the attack, were arrested overnight, the IDF Spokesperson told KAN Radio on Friday morning.  “Sooner or later we will put our hands on those who carried out the attack last night,” the IDF said.


Hamas Slams PA For Sanctions On Gaza Strip

Senior Hamas officials accused the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday (15th) of campaigning against it in Judea and Samaria.  The terrorist group, which wrested control of the Gaza Strip from PA Leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party in a military coup in 2007, said PA security forces targeted Hamas supporters during released prisoners’ celebrations and banned the waving of Hamas flags. 

Deputy Hamas leader Zahar Jabarim accused the PA of curtailing the group’s activities in Judea and Samaria and Hamas official Mahmoud Mardawi said Fatah acted under pressure from forces hostile to the Palestinian people” that dictated its actions.

Criticism against the PA came after several clashes between Hamas members and PA security forces.  According to reports, forces targeted members who waved Hamas flags during the reception of released prisoners.  The members, in turn, threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the forces.  One man was reportedly injured in the clashes.

Following the clashes, Ismail Haniyeh, chief of Hamas’ political bureau, called on the PA on Wednesday (15th) to stop harming Palestinians in Judea and Samaria and stop political arrests and security cooperation with Israel.

Haniyeh also criticized the PA for what he defined as “sanctions on the Gaza Strip.”

“I call on the Palestinian Authority, especially in the West Bank, to stop its policy of aggression and attacks on our people…Unfortunately, we have recently witnessed impertinence by some among the PA security forces toward our people, even during prisoner release celebrations.”

The PA rejected the accusations and claimed the escalation was set up by Hamas with the goal of undermining stability in the area.

PA security services spokesperson Talal Dweikat hinted that Hamas was the one acting in Israel’s interest, saying that what happened in the territories “came as part of shifting from its natural course to serve the occupation intentionally or unintentionally.”



US Shelves Palestinian Consulate Plans

The United States has walked back its promise to reopen a de facto consulate for Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem, much to the chagrin of embattled Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, according to a report from Arabic language daily Al Quds on Thursday (16th).

US President Joe Biden pledged to reopen the consulate, which was closed by former President Donald Trump in 2018, and that promise was reiterated to Abbas by Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this year.

“We want the American Consulate to constitute the seed of a US Embassy in the State of Palestine,” PA prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said in a September post on Facebook.

But according to Al Quds, the US has quietly shelved plans to reopen the consulate due to opposition from Israel’s current ruling coalition and the AIPAC lobby.

“This move is not surprising as in recent months many indications have accumulated regarding the lukewarm American policy on the Palestinian issue,” said a PA official who spoke to TPS News.

The source said American diplomatic officials told the PA that Biden has no strategy whatsoever for managing the Arab-Israeli conflict and is not interested in wading into the morass any further, aside from providing financial support for the Palestinian economy and aid groups such as UNRWA.

The Americans feel that the diplomatic headache caused by reopening the consulate is not worth it, said the source.



Ukraine To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital

“Ukraine will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and will build a branch of its embassy in the holy city next year,” Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yehven Korniychuk said on Thursday (16th).

Should the remark come to fruition, the move would make Ukraine one of the very few countries to have an embassy in Jerusalem following Guatemala, Honduras, Kosovo, and most famously the United States.

The comments were made during an event marking 30-years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Ukraine, Times of Israel reported.

Ukrainian born Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin reportedly expressed during the event that it was his hope that Ukraine would open an embassy branch in Jerusalem.  The Ukrainian envoy surprised the audience with “the Ukrainian embassy comments” in an unprepared speech after Elkin presented Korniychuk with a 2,700-year-old artifact bearing the name “Jerusalem” on it, TOI reported.

“While this is not official recognition, it shows the true nature of diplomatic ties between the two countries,” Elkin said.

Global leaders gathered this week for the third-annual Kyiv Jewish Forum, in which Ukrainian, Israeli and relevant top Jewish officials gathered to discuss issues with regard to communities world wide.  The event saw some 31 speakers, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.  Some 500,000 were in attendance, as it was held virtually due to the pandemic.

Topics of discussion included anti-Semitism, the coronavirus, and Ukraine’s diplomatic relationship with the Jewish people, the United States, Israel, and Europe.

Korniychuk said that he, alongside colleagues and sponsors, prepared a “Hebrew version of the Ukraina.UA website, a digital portal about Ukraine that is of interest to potential tourists, students, businesses and investors.”

“Hebrew has become the seventh language in which the latest information about Ukraine is provided,” he said.