News Digest — 5/7/21
Two Terrorists Killed, One Injured, After Attack On Border Police Base In West Bank
Three terrorists with guns fired shots at the Salem Border Police base in the North West Bank on Friday morning (7th) before being shot by officers.
The terrorists fired several shots toward the base. Border police officers and an IDF soldier responded with gunfire and killed two of the terrorists, while the third was critically wounded, a Border Police Spokesperson said.
The wounded terrorist was evacuated in serious condition to the Emek Medical Center in Afula.
No police officers or soldiers were injured in the shooting.
Earlier in the day, the Border Police arrested a 27-year-old Hebron resident for attempting to carry out a stabbing attack at the Cave of the Patriarchs.
As the woman approached the checkpoint stressed and frightened, a knife was found in her bag.
Following Iran’s Threats, Israeli Intelligence Chief Visits Bahrain To Discuss Security
The head of Israel’s Mossad Intelligence Agency visited Bahrain for talks with officials on Thursday (6th), the Bahrain state-run news agency reported.
The trip came amid frightened tensions in the region over Iran and followed Israel’s recent deal to normalize relations with the island kingdom.
The brief statement carried by the news agency said only that Yossi Cohen met with Bahrain’s heads of national intelligence and strategic security to discuss “the most prominent security topics, regional developments and issues of common interest.” it did not elaborate.
The two countries opened diplomatic ties last fall in a US-brokered deal under the Trump administration and following the United Arab Emirates’ decision to normalize relations.
The pacts, rejected by the Palestinians as a betrayal of their cause for statehood, signaled an increasingly explicit alliance between Gulf Arab States and Israel against mutual archenemy Iran.
Cohen joined an Israeli delegation to Washington recently in a last-ditch effort to convince the Americans not to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, but the Biden administration seems intent on renewing the agreement.
Israel and Gulf Arab sheikhdoms previously have voiced concern over the generous American rapprochement with Iran that doesn’t address the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program and support for regional proxies, in addition to the nuclear program.
Gaza Incendiary Balloons Spark 6 Fires In Southern Israel
At least six brush fires were ignited Thursday (6th) in southern Israel by balloons carrying incendiary devices that were launched from the Gaza Strip, the fire department said.
Two of the fires ignited in the Be’eri Forest, and another four in the Kissufim Forest, two nature reserves located on the border of Israel and Gaza, a spokesperson for the Jewish National Fund said.
Damage was caused to a wheat field in one of the fires, a spokesperson for the Eshkol regional council said, confirming that there was no danger to any of the nearby towns.
The Fire and Rescue Services said the fires were contained and quickly controlled.
In Gaza, the so-called balloon unit, Ibna Al-Zuwari, said it had launched balloon-borne incendiary devices toward Israel.
“This is just the beginning,” the group said in a statement on Thursday (6th).
On Monday (3rd), two balloons carrying suspected explosive devices that were apparently launched from the Gaza Strip, landed in southern Israel, local authorities said, in the first such attacks in months. The suspected bombs were found in agricultural fields in the community of Kfar Aza, east of Gaza City.
The practice of launching balloon-borne incendiary and explosive devices from the Gaza Strip toward Israel has waxed and waned over the past two years, though there have been relatively few launches of late as the Israeli government and Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group have reportedly been negotiating a long-term cease fire.
In mid April, terrorists in Gaza launched dozens of rockets at southern Israel. Most of the rockets landed in open fields, where they caused no injury or damage, but a few struck inside Israeli communities, with shrapnel hitting buildings and vehicles.
Exposed: PFLP Diverted Humanitarian Funds From Europe To Finance Terrorism
A mechanism that the Popular Front for the Liberation Of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization developed to finance its terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria through the use of funding provided by aid agencies and NGOs operating in Europe was recently exposed, the Shin Bet security agency revealed on Thursday (6th).
The embezzled humanitarian funds were diverted to Palestinian institutions and organizations in Judea and Samaria that belong to the PFLP and operate under humanitarian cover, through an organization called the “Health Committees.”
The Shin Bet investigation of those involved in the scam revealed that these organizations deceived several European countries into receiving large sums amounting to millions of euros.
The investigation further revealed that a significant portion of the funding was used by the PFLP for terrorist activities.
The PFLP deceived the European aid organizations by reporting fictitious projects, submitting false documents and stamps of banks, and reporting inflated salaries.
A large amount of the funding received was transferred to families of PFLP terrorists killed or imprisoned by Israeli forces, salaries for terrorists, recruitment of new activists to the organization, promotion of new terrorist activity, promotion of PFLP activities in Jerusalem, and promotion and dissemination of the organization’s messages and ideology.
During their interrogation by the Shin Bet, the suspects disclosed a large amount of material indicating the extent of the fraud carried out by the PFLP.
Indictments will be filed against four PFLP defendants in the coming days in the military court in Judea.
A senior Shin Bet source said that “the extensive financial activity promoted by the Popular Front organization joins a long line of terrorist activities, which have been thwarted by the Israeli security agency in recent years.”
The PFLP is “a murderous terrorist organization” that is responsible for the bombing in August 2019 in which Rena Shnerb, 16, was killed while hiking with her family at the Ein Danny Spring,” he said.
The Shin Bet will “continue to act and thwart the terrorist infrastructure and financial infrastructure of the PFLP, an organization that is constantly working to undermine security stability in Judea and Samaria and to promote organizational and military terrorist activity against Israel,” he said.
Election Fiasco Leaves The Palestinian Government Weaker Than Ever – Editorial
Since 2007, Gaza has been controlled by the Islamists of Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel or renounce violence, while in the West Bank, the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has repeatedly turned aside peace initiatives. However, Abbas has somewhat opposed violence and has worked with Israel to keep the West Bank mostly peaceful. Otherwise his rule has been a disaster. Elected to a four-year term as PA leader in 2005, he has remained in office and ruled by decree for the past 16 years, presiding over an increasingly corrupt and unpopular regime.
In January, he called for elections for the Palestinian legislature and presidency, but indefinitely postponed the elections last Thursday (4/29) as polls showed he could lose the election to Hamas. Neighboring Arab states and the US were quietly relieved; none wished to risk a Hamas takeover of the West Bank. Yet Abbas’ retreat will leave him weaker and less popular than ever – and the Palestinians still stuck with a failed political system.
Harvard Pro-Palestinian Group Holds Israel Apartheid Week
The Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee ended its annual Israeli Apartheid Week, which included a roster of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic speakers and programs.
Programs, held from April 26-30 virtually this year, included webinars titled “Healthcare Injustices in Palestine and the COVID-19 Pandemic,” and “Divestment as a Historical Tool for Justice,” which was a discussion with tenured Harvard Professor Cornel West, a supporter of BDS, and BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti.
Featured panelists included Swarthmore College associate professor and BDS advocate Sa’ed A. Atshan, and Palestinian feminist scholar and activist Yamila Hussein-Shannan, who claimed that Palestinian men are “forced to parade without clothing in the streets” by Israeli soldiers and blamed the oppression of Palestinian women on Israel’s “occupation.” Another featured panelist was Sumava Awad, who has expressed support for violence in Israel and hatred against the Jewish state, according to Canary Mission.
A number of student organizations co-sponsored the week’s events, including Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine, the school’s newspaper The Harvard Crimson reported.
Gilead Ini, a senior research analyst at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), told JNS he is not surprised that “such discriminatory, anti-Jewish programming was brought to campus.”
“After all,” said Ini, “It wasn’t long ago that the same group hosted a program to defend Rasmea Odeh, who murdered two Israelis while working for a terrorist organization dedicated to eliminating Israel. It is an end goal that’s shared by Apartheid Week, and apparently by the Palestine Solidarity Committee.”
He added that “Apartheid Week is an annual ritual of anti-Israel propaganda on college campuses that is meant, ‘ironically enough,’ to convince students that South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was wrong when he openly recognized the legitimacy of Zionism as a Jewish Nationalism, and was forceful in supporting Israel’s right to exist.”