News Digest — 4/3/19

Father Kills Terrorist Who Tried To Stab Daughter As Car Sits In Traffic

A Palestinian terrorist was shot by an Israeli citizen on Wednesday morning (3rd) near the Arab city of Nablus in Samaria, the Israel Defense Forces reports.

The incident occurred on Route 60 near the village of Hawara, over four miles south of Nablus.  The terrorist attempted to stab the driver’s daughter, who was being driven to school, according to a statement by the Samaria Regional Council.

The driver, Yehoshua Sherman, then shot the terrorist, who later died of his wounds.  Sherman said the terrorist blocked his car’s path holding a knife.

“I was driving from Elon Moreh to Tapuah,” said Sherman.  “At Bitot junction a terrorist jumped at my car with a knife and tried to open the door.  I went outside and as the terrorist came at me, I neutralized him with gunfire with the help of another resident who was driving behind me.”

No Israeli casualties were reported.

Troops arrived on the scene, closed traffic and began to investigate the attempted terror attack.



Netanyahu To Meet Putin On Thursday, Iran In Syria Likely To Top List Of Concerns

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will fly to Russia Thursday (4th) to talk with President Vladimir Putin, his office announced on Tuesday (2nd).

The meeting follows a phone conversation the two had Monday (1st) in which “the situation in Syria and the continuation of the security coordination” that exists there between Russia and Israel were discussed, Netanyahu said at a press conference later that day.

Israel’s most recent action in Syria, according to several Syrian sources, took place last week when Israel’s Air Force struck an Iranian weapons storage facility in the vicinity of Aleppo’s airport.  Seven members of Iranian-backed forces were killed. Israel did not claim responsibility for the attack.

It has been about five weeks since the two leaders last met in the Kremlin.

According to Israel Hayom, the meeting also comes after Netanyahu presented a plan last week to U.S. President Donald Trump to remove Iranian forces from Syria.  The newspaper’s source said that Netanyahu presented the same plan “a month ago in his meeting with Putin.”

Netanyahu has pressed Putin on ridding Syria of its Iranian presence in most of their meetings since 2015.

The Thursday (4th) meeting comes five days before Israel goes to the polls.

Netanyahu has repeatedly brandished his relationship with Putin, as well as other world leaders, as invaluable to israel’s security.



Golan Recognition Part Of Larger U.S. Effort To Counter Iran – Adam Kredo

U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is part of a larger effort by the White House to open new fronts to combat Iran in the region, according to U.S. officials.  One White House official said, “To allow the Golan Heights to be controlled by the likes of the Syrian and Iranian regimes would turn a blind eye to the threats emanating from a Syrian regime that engages in atrocities and from Iran and terrorist actors, including Hezbollah, seeking to use the Golan Heights as a launching ground for attacks on Israel.”

“This administration…is willing to acknowledge the reality that there can be no comprehensive peace agreement that does not satisfactorily address Israel’s security needs in the Golan Heights.  The Golan is an area vital to Israel’s national security.”

U.S. Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, wrote on Twitter, “A regime that gases its own people, and drops barrel-bombs on women and children, is in no position to try to convince the international community of its right to the Golan.  Anyone who says Syria should control the Golan is taking a position not based in reality.”



Is It Islamophobic To Deny That “Palestine” Exists? – Jonathan S. Tobin

→Kalman Yeger, a member of the New York City Council, is in trouble for denying the existence of a country called “Palestine.”  Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Mayor Bill De Blasio asserted that if Yeger didn’t retract his comments, he should be booted off the council’s Committee on Immigration.

→Prior to 1948 and the birth of Israel, the only group that answered to the name “Palestinians” were Jewish residents of the British Mandate for Palestine.

→Non-Jews who lived there considered themselves Arabs, not Palestinians, because there had never been in history a separate Palestinian Arab political entity or, prior to the birth of modern Zionism, a national movement that represented the ambitions of such a group.  It was only after the birth of Israel that the Arabs embraced the name “Palestinian” and claimed that the country was “Palestine.”

→The reason why “Palestine” isn’t a country is that Palestinian identity has been inextricably tied to denying the right of the Jews to a state in the same country.

→When people like Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and the BDS movement they support, say “Palestine,” they are not referring to a separate state next door to a secure Jewish state.  They are, instead, referring to their hope of replacing the State of Israel with a Palestinian state that will deny the right of the Jews to self-determination.

→Opposing that ambition is not Islamophobic or even necessarily rooted in hate against Palestinians.



Israeli Spacecraft Passes Earth For Last Time Before Moon Landing

The Israeli spacecraft “Beresheet” passed Earth for the final time on Sunday (3/31) as it is expected to enter the moon’s orbit on Thursday (4th).

When the spacecraft enters the moon’s orbit, it will perform a complex maneuver to enter the moon’s gravity, called lunar capture, and start orbiting the moon ahead of its scheduled landing on April 11.

California-based non-profit, the X Prize Foundation announced last week that it would award a $1 million prize to SpacelL if Beresheet completes the landing safely.  Israel Aerospace Industries valued the development of Beresheet at $100 million.

Beresheet, the Hebrew name for the Book of Genesis. Lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Feb. 22.

If it succeeds, it will be the first Israeli spacecraft to land on the moon, as well as the first privately owned craft to do so.



Kinneret Rises Over 2 Inches Overnight

The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) on Tuesday night (2nd) rose over two additional inches, bringing it to -694 feet below sea level by Wednesday morning (3rd).

The lake has risen a total of 9 feet 4 inches since the beginning of the rainy season and currently stands at a little over 9 feet below maximum capacity.

On Sunday (3/31), the Kinneret rose 4.3 inches, with a similar 3.93 inches occurring Monday (1st), for a total of 10.62 inches since the weekend.

Rainfall is expected to continue throughout the end of the week, with Wednesday’s (3rd) temperatures rising slightly but remaining below seasonal average.

Wednesday night will continue with local rainfall concentrated in southern, and possibly, central Israel.  Southern and eastern streams may flood.

Friday (5th) and Saturday (6th) will be cloudy with a drop in temperatures and possible light rains.