News Digest — 3/14/19

Arabs Hurl Molotov Cocktail On Temple Mount, Damage Israeli Police Post

More violence was reported on the Temple Mount on Tuesday, (12th) amid rising tensions over recent weeks.

An Israeli Police statement said that “three suspects who hurled a Molotov cocktail at a police post on the Temple Mount were detained,” adding that “the police post was damaged.”  A Border Policewoman was lightly wounded from the explosive.

Jerusalem Police Commissioner Doron Yadid visited the Temple Mount and held a situational assessment there.  He ordered it evacuated and subsequently ordered the Mount closed to allow for searches to be carried out.

Tensions have been especially high since the Waqf Islamic Authority, which operates the Muslim Holy sites, breached the Gate of Mercy on the Mount last month.

The Jerusalem Magistrates Court ruled last week that a structure set up at the Gate of Mercy would be shuttered pending a response by the Islamic authority to a petition submitted by the police and district attorney’s office.

Meanwhile, high-level Israeli and Jordanian officials have been holding talks in the hope of defusing the situation.  Last week, Israeli officials traveled to Jordan for meetings, and Jordanian officials have also visited Jerusalem according to Israeli reports.

The talks are ongoing and the sides have yet to come to an agreement, according to local media.



Hebron: Palestinian Attempting To Stab IDF Soldiers Shot Dead

A Palestinian man attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the Hebron area was shot and killed by IDF soldiers, said an Israeli military spokesman.

IDF fighters identified a terrorist armed with a knife running toward them,” said an IDF statement.

“The fighters had forced back the terrorist who had been running toward a civilian structure nearby as he held the knife,” said the statement.  “The fighters fired at the terrorist, thwarting the attack and he was killed. There were no casualties among the forces.”

The attacker had apparently tried to enter Beit Ha’Shalom, a contentious building originally built by Arab businessmen but later purchased by Israeli Jews, located on the outskirts of Hebron near Kiryat Arba.

According to reports, at least one resident of the building spotted the terrorist and called for Israeli security forces.  The terrorist reportedly lunged in an attempt to stab the soldiers but was shot and killed before he could carry out the attack.



Report: Hamas Readying For Israeli Attack

Amid speculation that a major Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip could take place before the April 9 Israeli general election, Hamas – the terror group which rules the Strip – reportedly is preparing for such an eventuality.

Arab media reports reveal that Hamas has detained Palestinians who are suspected of collaborating with Israel, and learned through these informants that the Israeli military was mobilizing for a major strike.  According to the information relayed, say media outlets, Israel would “exploit” an attack from Gaza that causes major damage or loss of life in order to hit back hard at Hamas.

A senior Hamas official is cited in Al Hadaf, a Palestinian weekly published in Lebanon, as saying that Israel has bolstered its effort to recruit Palestinian informants to help lay the groundwork for a large-scale military action.  Members of the Hamas “military wing” have reportedly received instructions on how to prevent such collaborators from gaining inside information about the terror groups.

Hamas sources are quoted as saying they have reason to believe that the Israeli action might include targeted killings of top terror figures.  As a result, reports Al Hadaf, the preventive measures include a warning to the military wing  members to refrain from accepting gifts, driving alone at night, and using smartphones that haven’t been checked.

A Hamas source told the Palestinian magazine that the Israeli attack might be of “unprecedented” proportions.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, (10th) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the occasion of the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting to again warn Hamas: “Do not test us,” adding that Israel would “do everything we need to bring about quiet.”

“I heard people from Gaza saying that since we are in an election campaign a wide-ranging operation is out of the question,” said Netanyahu on Sunday (10th).  “I suggest to Hamas not to count on it.”

According to Arab media reports, Hamas believes that a rocket attack on Israel would be the kind of incident that would result in a massive Israeli strike in Gaza.

Israel has been responding to current Palestinian attacks by firing back at specific targets.  A wider-scale Israeli strike would be aimed at hitting the terror groups at their core, perhaps even returning to a policy of targeted assassinations of their leaders.



Jewish Parents Furious Over Map Of ‘Palestine’ Replacing Israel Featured At Middle School In Georgia

Parents are fuming over a map display that was presented at a recent cultural event at a Georgia middle school which featured “Palestine” in place of present-day Israel, local news station 11Alive reported last week.

The map was seen at a multicultural night hosted by Autrey Mill Middle School in Fulton County, Ga.  Several Jewish and Israeli parents deemed the map highly offensive and complained to school authorities.

“Kids who saw this or anybody that was exposed to this last night that doesn’t even know what the story is behind all this, right now, thinks that this is the map of Palestine,” said one Jewish mother.

“Israel wasn’t mentioned on that map at all,” another Jewish student’s mother said.  “They basically wrote Palestine in the place of Israel. The Palestinians talk about ‘from the land to the sea,’ which means having all the Jews wiped away and Palestinians on the land instead of the Jews.”

School principal, J.E. Trey Martin sent a lengthy letter to parents on Friday (8th) saying he was “extremely disappointed and disgusted with the individuals who presented the insensitive political and geographic representation” adding that “this display does not represent our school culture, which is one that values inclusion and unity.”

A Fulton County Schools spokesperson said the map is not displayed at the school on a regular basis and that school personnel are investigating who was responsible for it.



Israeli Precision Irrigation Firm To Deliver Water To 60,000 Rural Indian Farmers

Netafim, an Israeli manufacturer of irrigation equipment, announced that it is implementing four large community irrigation projects that span 100 villages across India, delivering water to 135,000 acres and positively impacting nearly 60,000 rural farmers.

These projects demonstrate how Netafim – Hebrew for ‘drops’ but referring in this case to drip irrigation – partners with farmers and governments around the world to help improve the livelihoods of rural farmers with the latest precision irrigation technologies and digital farming solutions.

Netafim’s precision irrigation feeds the plant instead of the soil, delivering water and nutrients straight to the roots, which dramatically lowers water consumption and other resources such as labor, fertilizers and crop protection, while yielding significantly higher and better-quality crops.

Netafim is deploying its precision irrigation technologies in India’s Singataluru Ananthapuramu District and Tarikere regions.

Singataluru is comprised of two projects that cover 41 villages, helping approximately 15,000 farmers.  The Ananthapuramu project covers 22 villages helping approximately 13,000 farmers. The Tarikere project covers 45 villages helping approximately 27,000 farmers.

“It’s truly rewarding to see the type of positive impact we’re having on these farmers by bringing them precision irrigation for the very first time,” said Mr. Randhir Chauhan, managing director of Netafim India.  “We’re helping them maximize crop yields, while reducing the water and fertilizer consumption. This is smart digital farming in the most rural of settings.”

Netafim, launched in 1965, began its work in the Negev desert, growing crops in desert soil.  That challenge, its website explains, taught them how to “combine precision irrigation agronomic expertise and relentless innovation to help farmers grow more of any crop, in any climate, with less.”