News Digest — 2/23/24

Jewish MP: ‘I Feel Safer In Israel Than In London’

A Jewish Member of Parliament stated in an emotional address in the British Parliament Thursday (22nd) that he feels safer in Jerusalem than on the streets of London due to the rise in anti-Semitic incidents and demonstrations in the UK since October 7.

Tory MP Andrew Percy said, “I was in Israel last week, meeting with friends and survivors and hostage families, and I actually felt safer in Israel than I do in this country at this moment in time.”

Percy declared that “Nobody in this house has any business at all in telling the State of israel where it is able to operate to seek to rescue hostages who are being raped by Islamic terrorists who hold them.”

He warned that the threats against MPs meant that if Parliament debated resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza again, “members will not vote with their hearts, because they are frightened and they are scared.”

“What do we expect?!” he asked.  “For months I’ve been standing up here talking about the people on our streets demanding death to Jews, demanding jihad, demanding intifadas as the police stand by and allow that to happen.”

Percy also called out the anti-Israel demonstrators who projected the genocidal slogan ‘From the river to the sea’ on Big Ben during Wednesday night’s (21st) Parliament debate.

“Last night a genocidal call – ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ was projected onto this building.  That message says no Jew is welcome in the State of Israel or that land.  This is going to continue happening because we’re not dealing with it.”



IDF Eliminates Terrorist In Jenin En Route To Commit Terror Attack

The IDF and Shin Bet eliminated a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist in Jenin in a drone strike on Thursday night (22nd), the IDF and Shin Bet said in a joint statement on Friday morning (23rd).

The terrorist, identified as Yasser Hanoun, was on his way to commit a shooting attack and had carried out several terrorist attacks against Israeli forces and towns in recent weeks.

According to Palestinian reports,a second Palestinian, identified as Saeed Jaradat,  was killed in the strike as well and others were injured.

“Our jihad continues and our weapons are deployed in all arenas.  It is a jihad of victory or martyrdom,” said the Jenin branch of the Palestinian Islamic JIhad on Thursday night (22nd).

The strike comes two days after the IDF and Border Police arrested 14 suspects in Jenin and eliminated three terrorists in the city.  During the raid. The forces uncovered explosives buried under roads.

The IDF also carried out an airstrike against terrorists during the raid in Jenin Tuesday night (22nd).  

Since the war began, thousands of terrorist suspects have been arrested by Israeli forces in the West Bank, including over 1,000 Hamas members.



Government To Promote 3,000 Homes In Maale Adumim In Response To Terror Attack

In a discussion that took place Thursday evening (22nd), with the participation of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Strategic Affairs, it was decided to convene the Supreme Planning Council in the Civil Administration to approve thousands of housing units in Judea and Samaria in response to the shooting attack near Maale Adumim on Thursday morning (22nd).

About 2,350 units in Maale Adumim, 694 units in Efrat and about 300 units in Kedar will be brought to the Supreme Planning Council for approval.

Minister of Finance and Minister in the Ministry of Defense, Bezalel Smotrich said, “Let every terrorist plotting to harm us know that any raising of a hand against the citizens of Israel will be met with a blow of death and destruction and the deepening of our eternal grip on the entire Land of israel.”

Gush Etzion Regional Council Mayor, and Yesha Council Chairman, Shlomo Ne’eman responded to the decision:

“We praise the decision to convene the Higher Planning Council in order to approve thousands of housing units in Maale Adumim, Kedar, Gush Etzion, and Efrat, and thank the Prime Minister, and the other ministers present for a Zionist response to Thursday morning’s (22nd) terrible terrorist attack.  The development of Judea and Samaria is the appropriate response to anyone who tries to harm us or undermine our rights to the land.”

Matan Elmaliah, 26, from Maale Adumim, was murdered in Thursday Morning’s (22nd) shooting attack.

Six other people were injured in the attack – including Adi Zohar, 30, a pregnant woman who is listed in serious condition, and Hanania Ben-Shimon, 23, who was discharged from reservist service in the Gaza Strip last week, and charged one of the terrorists, killing him.  Hanania was moderately injured.



After Months In Gaza, Discharged IDF Reservist Saves Lives From Terrorist In West Bank

Hanania Ben-Shimon, 23, bravely engaged a terrorist who opened fire at cars in the middle of a traffic congestion on Highway 1 near the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim Thursday morning (22nd).

Ben-Shimon, who was in the car with his mother, quickly responded to the threat and neutralized one of the terrorists despite being shot in the leg and abdomen.

Ben-Shimon’s father Arik said that he was discharged from reserve duty last week after four months in the Gaza Strip.

“He was discharged a week and a half ago from Khan Younis after serving in the Gaza Strip in the reserves for four months.  When the terrorists stopped their car on his left side and started shooting, Hanania shot them first through the window.  He then got out of the car, approached, and neutralized one of the terrorists, but was also injured himself.

According to Arik, Hanania’s mother, who was in the car, was not physically injured but was in shock.” He explained, “My son is in moderate condition, having been hit by several bullets in the abdomen and thigh.  He has no serious internal injuries, but he does have fractures.  He is conscious  and was able to speak to me.”

Speaking to Ynet, a friend of Hanania hailed him as a hero, saying, “Hanania is the beautiful face of Israel.  He returned last week from fighting in Khan Younis after several months in Gaza, obtained a firearm license to save lives, and started working as a tour security guard.”

“I had no doubt when I heard about the attack that if someone were to approach and risk themselves like that, it would be Hanania.  He once told me how united the people of Israel are and how ready he is to risk himself for the country and the citizens.  Today those words take on new meaning, to me.”



Report: IDF Arrests 8 UNRWA Employees For Participating In Hamas Terror

Over the course of the IDF’s operations in Gaza, 8 UNRWA employees have been arrested over connections with Hamas, and in some cases, full participation in terrorist activities.

Maariv obtained a secret report available to the IDF detailing terrorist ties of UNRWA workers, and the information is being investigated by Israeli officials. 

In response, UNRWA has reached out to Israel and has requested communication and access to those who have been arrested.

In addition, the UN organization has demanded information, including where the individuals are being detained, why they have been arrested and if any direct ties with Hamas have been proven.

The arrests of the UNRWA workers took place between October and February.  At least one of the individuals arrested participated directly in the October 7th massacre.

The news of the arrests come as Israel has proposed having UNRWA removed from Gaza after it came to light last month that 30 of its employees directly participated in the October 7th massacre and many more had other types of involvement with Hamas.

At the Munich Security Conference, Foreign Minister Israel Katz unveiled the “UNRWA Brochure” which detailed the terrorist involvement of UNRWA employees.

Katz said, “The organization serves as an arm of the terrorist organization Hamas – its leaders should resign.”

In addition, 2,000 additional UNRWA employees are involved with Hamas but are not in its military faction.

The number of UNRWA employees who have relatives who are members of Hamas is 7,000.

All of these numbers taken together demonstrate that of the 12,000 UNRWA employees, 9,500 have Hamas ties.

Shurat HaDin, a Tel Aviv-based organization representing families of victims and survivors of the October 7th massacre, is demanding that UNRWA be listed as a terror organization because of its proven ties to Hamas.



UNRWA Is The Tip Of The Iceberg At The UN – Olga Deutsch

Since freezing UNRWA funding in January, after evidence emerged that the agency’s employees participated in the murder and kidnapping of Israeli civilians in the October 7 massacre, the U.S. said it will send money to other UN bodies and NGOs in Gaza.  This is premature, ignoring the fact that serious problems with terror support, incitement and anti-Semitism are replicated throughout the entire ecosystem of UN agencies and NGOs active in Gaza and the West Bank.  Stronger, broader, long-term action is needed before continuing to fund any organizations in Gaza.

UNRWA has partnered with Palestinian NGOs to carry out “advocacy” projects to accuse Israel of “war crimes” and “violations of human rights” and seek condemnations of Israel from international bodies and governments.  The biased reports and claims from UNRWA’s NGO partners are often cited as “evidence” in UN investigations of Israel.  South Africa’s submission to the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of genocide – a charge that the U.S. has called “meritless” – contains 45 references to NGO publications and 13 footnotes citing UNRWA.

The writer is vice president of NGO Monitor.  (Washington Times)



German Police Chief Meets With Israeli Counterparts To Tour October 7 Ruins

Israel Police took diplomatic efforts into their own hands and escorted officials from the German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) – the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany, on a mission to bear witness to the impact of the October 7 massacre by Hamas across Israel’s South on Wednesday (21st).

Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai and Southern District Commander Deputy Commissioner Amit Cohen led a delegation headed by Holger Munch, the President of the BKA, visiting several Gaza border communities that were hit hard by terrorists on October 7.  Israel’s police force lost a number of officers while confronting terrorists and defending communities in the area.

Shabtai and Cohen took the BKA head to the Netivot police station, where their journey began.  Munch and his team received a comprehensive briefing of the police response to the largest attack on Israel’s soil in the nation’s history.

Among the stops was Kibbutz Be’eri, where Munch engaged with survivors and walked among the community’s ruins, witnessing the devastation caused by the day’s events.  He met with the bereaved as well as with police officers and first responders in the community.

The team also visited the site of the Nova Music Festival massacre, held in the Re’im Forest just outside Kibbutz Re’im .  On-site, he met with the families of fallen soldiers and spoke with responding officers, lighting a memorial candle to close the day alongside Commissioner Shabtai.

The tour portrayed the cost of terrorism in Israel, depicting the threat that groups like Hamas could pose to the rest of the Western world.  The trip allowed the BKA representatives to see the need for international solidarity in combating terrorism.

During the tour, the German Police delegation was told about the Sderot community’s Police Station, which became a battleground on October 7th when terrorists seized the property.  However, Israeli authorities re-gained control over the station early October 8.  At least 10 terrorists  were neutralized in the process.

Security forces used bulldozers to demolish the station in which Hamas terrorists barricaded themselves.