News Digest — 3/9/21

IDF Shoots Two Firebomb-Throwing Terrorists In Gush Etzion

IDF forces identified and shot two Arab terrorists who were throwing firebombs at Israeli motorists on Route 60 between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion on Monday night (8th).

The IDF stated that its forces identified two suspects throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles passing on the route near the village of Khader in the Gush Etzion area.

IDF troops in the area initiated a suspect arrest procedure, finally firing at the suspects.

The Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA news agency reported that one of the terrorists was shot in the foot and the other was seriously injured.

Earlier on Monday (8th), a Palestinian woman with a knife snuck into the Sde Efraim farm in the Binyamin region of Samaria and attempted to stab the wife of the farm owner.

The attacker was stopped by the residents of the farm in the process and arrested.

This was the second attack in just over a month at the farm.  On Feb. 5, a terrorist drove into the same farm and was apprehended.  The February attack followed another hours earlier when IDF troops captured a suspect near Nablus, who attempted to stab one of the soldiers.



Families Of Murdered Teenage Boys Slam ICC Decision As ‘Evil Cynicism’

The families of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrach – three Israeli teenage boys who were abducted and murdered by Hamas terrorists in Judea and Samaria in June 2014, an act that would spark Operation Protective Edge later that summer – released a letter to the public on Monday (8th) expressing grave reservations over the International Criminal Court at The Hague’s recent ruling to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The families slammed as “evil cynicism” the ruling, which was issued on June 13, 2020, and was reinforced last week.  It is important to note that the ICC’s mandate to investigate the events surrounding Operation Protective Edge pertains to the period beginning on June 13, 2014, a day after the boys were abducted.

“Had [ICC chief prosecutor] Fatou Bensouda truly and honestly wanted to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity, she would have ordered an investigation into the greatest crime that was perpetrated a day earlier on June 12, 2014, when our three children were abducted – three Jewish boys who wanted to return home safe and sound,” the letter said.

“IDF soldiers turned every stone and risked their lives to find our children healthy and whole and bring them home, until they found their bodies.  Had we met the chief prosecutor face to face as parent to parent, we would have told her about our feelings that day, how in the blink of an eye our lives changed forever – on that day that she, as the prosecutor, decided to erase these murders from the investigation,” continued the letter.

“We would ask her – how can you ignore justice for us, for the soldiers who defended our people against aggression from our enemies?  The miserable decision to launch an investigation certainly won’t bring back Gilad, Eyal and Naftali, but more than that – it pours salt on the wounds we all share, on the aching heart that cries out against the gross injustice toward the truth.”

“Such a decision was made in sin and will inevitably end in sin.  Such a decision can only glorify the despicable terrorists who murdered our sons and encourage the next murder.  The very decision to investigate the IDF, only beginning the day after our children’s murder no less, is already enough to determine what the nature of the sentence will be,” the families concluded.



Israel Praises Brazil For Steadfast Support Against ICC Crimes Probe

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi met his Brazilian counterpart, Ernesto Araujo, in Jerusalem on Sunday (7th) and thanked his country for its “steadfast position against the International Criminal Court’s decision to launch a [war crimes] probe” against the Jewish state.

“It is a decision that harms international law and distances the possibility of advancing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians,” Ashkenazi stressed at the meeting.

Last week, ICC senior prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced she had opened a formal probe into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories, consisting of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The decision resulted in a considerable backlash in Israel, with officials urging allies around the world to exert diplomatic pressure against the ICC.

Araujo and Ashkenazi further discussed Middle East developments, including landmark changes that have taken place after four Arab nations – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco – signed the Abraham Accords.

Ashkenazi warned of increasing Iranian efforts in recent days to destabilize the region.

“We clearly identify Iran’s fingerprints in recent attempts to harm Israeli targets around the world.  The international community must ensure that Iran ceases its efforts to reach the threshold for military nuclear technology and fulfills its commitments to the last detail,” he asserted.

The Brazilian delegation, which also included chair of the Congress Foreign Affairs Committee Eduardo Bolsonaro – the son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro – who was allowed into the country without having to undergo quarantine, despite a general ban on foreign citizens entering Israel and the threat of a Brazilian COVID-19 variant.  

After meeting Araujo, Ashkenazi said the sides were “working together to expand cooperation between our countries in the fight against the virus.”  He said Israel “will assist Brazil in every way possible and will explore ways to deepen research and development on medicines and other solutions to deal with it.”



There Is No Reason For Israel Not To Apply Sovereignty Over Judea And Samaria

Settlement Affairs Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said Sunday (7th) that he believes Israel will extend sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria, without disclosing a timeline for the move.

In an exclusive interview with i24NEWS, Hanegbi said, “It doesn’t make sense that half a million people who live in Judea and Samaria cannot live under Israeli law, we did it in the Golan Heights and we will do it in Judea and Samaria,” he said, using the Israeli designation for the disputed territories.

Regarding future normalization deals with Arab Gulf countries, Hanegbi declared that he “cannot foresee how far the relations with the Gulf States will develop but it is an alliance which should be able to be made according to the decisions of the populations also – the new agreements will change things.”  

“We have common interests with Oman in an informal manner and the ties with Saudi Arabia hopefully will widen,” he added.

Earlier Sunday (7th), the Jewish state increased the capacity of incoming citizens from abroad after the skies were closed for much of the past two months in light of the third wave of infections that swept the country.

In the wake of criticism aimed at Israel’s restrictive policy, which was unique for Western countries, Hanegbi assured that all citizens could return to the state for the general election on March 23.



BDS Groups From US And Europe Team Up With Iran And Hamas Against Israel

Boycott Israel groups in Europe and North America took part in an event with the Iranian regime, leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups earlier this year.  

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh praised the organizations in his address at the Tehran event, saying: “We see good results of the work in our diaspora in raising awareness, and cutting relations with the occupation [Zionist entity]  and delegitimizing it.”

Two related events were broadcast simultaneously from Gaza and Tehran, on January 18, with the Gaza event called “Year To Confront Normalization” and the Iranian event entitled “Together Against Normalization.”  Both referred to their opposition to the four Arab states that established diplomatic relations with Israel this year.

One of the organizers of the Gaza event, Sheikh Yusuf Abbas, declared that their campaign “mainly aims to make everyone understand that normalization is treason.”

More than 60 organizations took part in the Gaza event, organized by the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine, a broad network including many BDS groups.  Among the participant-countries from the Western world included, the US, France, Scotland, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and Australia.

Haniyeh and Ziyad Nakhala, the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, addressed the Tehran event, as well as speaker of the Iranian Islamic Consulttive Assembly Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf, and speakers of the parliaments of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and the deputy speaker of Yemen’s legislature.

One of the speakers at the Gaza event was Matahir Mohamad, the former prime minister of Malaysia noted for his anti-Semitic remarks.

The Tehran event was aired on the pro-Hezbollah, Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen network, while the simultaneous Gaza event was partly on Facebook live and partly on the Hezbollah network, in split screen with the Iranian event.