News Digest — 12/8/22

3 Terrorists Killed in Jenin After Opening Fire On IDF

IDF soldiers operating throughout the West Bank arrested 15 wanted Palestinians, as well as an additional three in Jenin for connection to terrorist activities on Thursday morning (8th).

The soldiers were involved in heavy clashes with Palestinian gunmen in the Jenin area as two simultaneous operations were being carried out in the city.

Shots were fired and explosives were thrown at Israeli forces during the operation, who then opened fire and three armed Palestinians were killed.  Five others were injured.

Tariq Aldami, Siddiqui Zakarneh and Atta Shilbi were the Palestinians killed in the Jenin clashes, according to reports.  

 Photos of the three quickly surfaced on social media and were later shared by Israel’s Army Radio.

No injuries were reported among Israeli forces, who were accompanied by officers from the Border Guard Police Undercover unit.

Arrests were also made throughout the region, and weapons were confiscated.  The arrested suspects were transferred to the security forces for investigation.



Israel Withholds Visas For UN Officials Accused Of Pro-Palestinian Bias

The Israeli Foreign Ministry halted the issuance of entry permits for officials of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) due to what it considers the agency’s systematically distorted reports of terrorist attacks in the country.

According to the ministry, OCHA employees consistently undercount Israeli victims of Palestinian terror attacks and fail to classify attacks accordingly.

The agency is accused of reporting the killing or harming of Israeli civilians under “disputed” circumstances while taking reports about Palestinian casualties at face value and pointing the blame at Israel, including in clashes between IDF forces and armed Palestinian militants.

As reported by Ynet last month, the agency refused to recognize the killing of Shulamit Rachel Ovadia by a Palestinian as an act of terrorism, stating that the killer’s motives were “unclear.”

In another case, the agency described Eliyahu Kay, who was murdered last year in the Old City of Jerusalem by a Palestinian gunman, as “a settler who was murdered in occupied territory.”  However, he lived in Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut, a city within Israel proper.

This is in addition to clear anti-Israeli biases that agency officials present every week in their regular reports to the UN.

Last summer, the agency removed Sarah Muscroft, the head of its branch in the so-called “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” from her post after she, in a tweet,  condemned Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s “indiscriminate rocket fire into israeli population centers” during the most recent Gaza conflict.

Muscroft was transferred following Palestinian pressure.  In addition, the agency’s Middle East and North African arm is headed by a Palestinian who the Foreign Ministry says holds an unneutral view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.   

Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gilad Erdan leads a persistent battle against the agency and demands it also include in its reports rock-throwing and Molotov cocktail attacks against Jews in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Erdan addressed the issue many times to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and claimed that the agency has failed to mention Jewish victims of terrorism in its reports.

“OCHA continues to present a false image of reality.  Time after time they choose to ignore Israeli victims of terrorism and the existence of Palestinian terror,” Erdan said.

“It is a diagrace to the UN that the Palestinians censor OCHA reports, and cause the dismissal of those who ‘dare’ to condemn Palestiinian terrorism.  Jewish lives matter and we must fight this discrimination in any way possible.  There is no reason to continue to allow the entry of UN officials who lie about what’s happening in Israel and support terrorism against it,” Erdan added.



Hamas Vows To ‘Liberate’ Jerusalem On 35th Birthday

Hamas announced on Wednesday (7th) the launch of a series of events in the Gaza Strip to mark the 35th anniversary of its founding.  The events will include military parades and rallies in several areas of the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.  The celebrations are expected to reach their peak on December 14 with a major rally in Gaza City.

This year’s anniversary comes at a time when Hamas appears to be as strong, popular and defiant as ever, especially in the Gaza Strip.

In 2006, the Islamist movement won the elections for the Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council.

A year later, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip through a violent coup that led to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.

Since then, various attempts to undermine Hamas or remove it from power have been unsuccessful.  Most of the attempts were carried out by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas has also faced a boycott by many Arab and Western countries.  This, too, appears to have had little effect on Hamas, which continues to rule the Gaza Strip without facing any substantial challenges from home or abroad.

Hamas has also remained fully committed to its ideology despite claims by some Arab and Western political analysts that the group has softened its views in recent years.

The emblem Hamas chose to mark this years’ anniversary consists of a map of “Palestine” stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River and from Rosh HaNikra in the North to Eilat in the South.  Attached to the right side of the map is a rifle and a Palestinian flag.

Hamas officials explained that the rifle symbolizes their group’s strategy of continuing the armed struggle “as the only option for liberating all of Palestine.”  Since its founding in 1987, Hamas has carried out thousands of terror attacks against Israel.

The officials said that this year’s anniversary of the founding of Hamas will be held under the slogan “We are headed toward Jerusalem with a roaring flood.”

The slogan, they added, is designed to affirm the Palestinians’ determination to “liberate Jerusalem and its holy sites” and foil any attempt to “Judaize the Al-Aqsa Mosque or divide it in time and space between Muslims and Jews.”

On the eve of the anniversary, Hamas called on Palestinians to step up their “resistance and revolution” against israel.  The call came as the Palestinian Authority security forces continue their security crackdown on Hamas members in the West Bank.  Since the beginning of the year, hundreds of Hamas members have been arrested or summoned for interrogation by the Palestinian security forces.

Senior Hamas official Osama al Mazini announced the launch of the Hamas celebrations during a press conference outside the home of the group’s founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel in 2004.

Mazini, who was accompanied by a number of senior Hamas officials, said that the slogan his group chose this year to mark its anniversary aims to send a message that Hamas won’t allow Israel to “Judaize” or divide Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Mazini said that Hamas will continue to support the Palestinians in the West Bank in their fight against Israel.

Addressing Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, the Hamas official said that the “warriors will come to uproot you.”

Another Hamas official, Maher Sabra, told the Palestinian news website Safa that his group’s message today is that “we are coming with a roaring flood to uproot the occupier and that the Gaza Strip stands, with all its capabilities, together with the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

Sabra said that Hamas’ message to Israel on the occasion of the group’s 35th anniversary is: “You have no place on our land, and if you want peace, leave Palestine.”



Two Israelis Evacuate Wounded Camel In Trunk Of Their Car

How many people do you need to put a camel into a car?  No, this isn’t a joke, but a real event that happened around noon on Tuesday (6th) in the Judean Desert.

Chagai Tal from Hod Hasharon and his friend Shachar went on a jeep tour, which was supposed to go from Kfar Hanokdim near Arad to Metzukei Dragot.  On the way near Nahal Chaver, they found a group of Bedouins spreading out a blanket for a wounded camel that was apparently hurt in a rock slide.

“We saw eight Bedouins with blankets, trying to move the camel,” Chagai told Walla Travel.

According to Tal, “we didn’t see how the camel was injured, but we saw them trying to help it,” he remembered.  “We helped them carry it and then they asked if we would help them transport it in our car.” 

“We opened the car, got out some belts and helped them pull the camel for a quarter of an hour until we got to a path.  Then we all looked at each other and wondered what to do next.”  

Tal and his friend then started to make room for the camel in the trunk of the car.  “I had to take out the seats and other equipment in order to make room but there was no other way we could evacuate it,” he said.

According to Tal, after loading the camel into the trunk, another unbelievable thing happened: eight Bedouins got into the car as well.  In order to accompany the camel, they hung on to both sides of the car.  “Some were holding onto a rail from outside the car and some were inside with the camel.  We took him to their encampment, about 2 miles away,” he described and joked. “Afterward they even had the nerve to ask us to take them back to the site where they left their donkeys.”

“They told me if a camel breaks its leg, it’s done for.”

The Bedouins are from the Ka’abane tribe which lives in the village of Dakayke near the South Hebron Hills.  After the camel was evacuated the Bedouins invited the two Israelis to be their guests and have a meal.  “But we only drank tea and coffee and talked about soccer,” said Chagai, “ we didn’t have time for a full meal.”

According to him, while none of the Bedouins spoke Hebrew, his friend communicated with them in his broken Arabic.  “All in all it was a nice experience,” he added.

On Wednesday morning (7th) Chagai washed off the traces of camel blood in his car.  “I washed my car today because we got back too late yesterday,” he explained.

And what happened to the camel?

“I hope the camel has peace,” Chagai said.  “They told me that when a camel breaks its leg, it’s done for, but it was only a scratch, so it’ll live,” he added.



New Jersey Playground Covered With Swastikas And Anti-Semitic Graffiti

A playground in Montclair, New Jersey was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti over the weekend.

The graffiti included multiple swastikas, anti-semitic phrases and hate speech according to the StopAntisemitism organization.

Lt. Terence Turner of the Montclair Police Department said that there were seven different anti-semitic phrases spray painted on the playground, including the park gate and the slide.  They were contacted about the graffiti on Saturday (3rd).

StopAntisemitism described the graffiti, which included Nazi references, as “grotesque.”

“Suspected or confirmed bias incidents are serious and are fully investigated,” Turner said.  “This was the only incident of anti-Semitic graffiti that we have had recently,” he added. 

The Montclair Department of Public Works was able to remove all of the graffiti.

The incident is being investigated by a department detective who is trained in hate crimes along with the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.