News Digest — 8/21/23

One Israeli Killed, One Seriously Wounded In Terror Shooting Near Hebron

An Israeli woman was murdered in a terror shooting attack on Route 60, near Hebron, in Judea and Samaria on Monday morning (21st).

According to Hebrew-language media, two Israeli motorists were struck by gunfire from a passing vehicle at the Beit Hagai junction, south of Hebron.

The victims were reported to be a man and woman in their 40s.  The woman died of her wounds several minutes after the shooting, while the man was listed in critical condition.  The Magen Adom emergency medical service treated the wounded man at the scene, said a media statement, and then transported him by military vehicle to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.  A 6-year-old child was also in the attacked car, but was uninjured. 

Security forces, including IDF troops, were dispatched to the scene and are engaged in a manhunt to locate the terrorists.  The perpetrators apparently successfully fled the scene following the attack.

On Saturday (19th),an Israeli father and son were murdered in Huwara.  The two had reportedly traveled there to repair their car.

On Sunday evening (20th), an Israeli motorist mistakenly drove into the PA town of Turmus Ayya.  He was confronted by an angry mob and had to be extracted by the IDF.

The Israeli victim was injured as rocks were thrown by the mob, and his car was set on fire. 

As the forces and the civilian man left the town, a riot developed, during which several suspects  hurled burning objects and stones,” the IDF said in a statement.



Israel’s Cabinet Approves $843 Million For Eastern Jerusalem

Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday (20th) approved a five-year $843 million to invest in the residents of eastern Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  presented the program to reduce economic and social disparities in the eastern section of Israel’s capital following the Cabinet meeting.

“We brought a decision in favor of the residents of eastern Jerusalem, a decision that will change the face of the city, that will bring about a massive development of infrastructure, health, welfare, personal security, employment and an increase in the number of those entitled to high school matriculation certificates,” Netanyahu said.

“We are building Jerusalem, strengthening the governance and uniting it,” the premier continued.

Also speaking at the live-streamed event were Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, Minister of Jerusalem and Israel’s Tradition, Meir Porush and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion.

Porush presented the plan for the years 2024-2028 at the Cabinet meeting.

“The government is investing in the Arab population, not because the investment in it will be expressed by adding numbers of Knesset Members to the coalition, as was the case in the previous government.  We are investing in them because it is the most humane thing to do, and we do it with all our will and with all our hearts,” Porush said.

In addition the government approved approximately $263.5 million for transportation projects in eastern Jerusalem including the Eastern Ring Road to connect Israeli communities south of the city in the Bethlehem area to Israeli communities in the Ma’ale Adumim area, east of the capital.  

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir voiced opposition to the eastern Jerusalem investment during the Cabinet meeting saying that “We need to make sure that the money just goes to the right places, and does not go to districts that will misuse it.”



Huwara Shooting Attack: Shai & His Son Aviad Laid To Rest

Aviad Nir, 28, and his father, Shai Silas Nigreker, 60, from Ashdod, who were murdered in a shooting attack on Saturday (19th) in Huwara, were laid to rest on Sunday (20th).

Ashdod Mayor Dr. Yehiel Lasry eulogized.  “A father and son were murdered by despicable men only because they were Jews.  Shai was a joyful man with a giant heart, his dear son was known to us in Ashdod as a good man who was happy with his lot and was always available to help, and a dedicated father, and despicable men cut his life short.  Not only has the village of Huwara turned into a death trap, but the entire Land of Israel has become a front.  Everywhere, our enemies hatefully try to exterminate us  just because we are Jews.”  

“This is a long fight that took a heavy and painful toll on us – the price of an entire country in an endless fight for our right to the land.  Terrorism doesn’t differentiate between right and left, between Sephardi and Askenazi.  Our enemies remind us of our joint fate as Jews.  We must find unity between us, and we are obligated to stand together for the continued existence of our home and state.”

Interior Minister Moshe Arbel stated at the funeral: “I came here in the name of the government of Israel to sympathize with the family over this heavy tragedy.  The Torah forbids cruelty to animals, from slaughtering an animal and its child in the same day, but a terrorist slaughtered a father and son in one day.”

Initial investigations show that the terrorist arrived on foot to a location on the road where security was not reinforced on Saturday (19th).  The terrorist then entered a car wash, where Shai and Aviad’s vehicle was parked while the two ran errands earlier in the day.  The terrorist later identified the pair as Israelis after they spoke in Hebrew and fired five bullets at them from point-blank range.  He then escaped on foot.  Later his weapon was discovered.

Following the attack on Saturday (19th), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I send condolences to the family of the two murdered victims, a father and son, whose lives were cut short in such a cruel and criminal fashion over Shabbat.  Security forces are working with great vigor in order to capture the murderer and bring him to justice, exactly as we have done with all of the murderers until now.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog responded, “This was a sad Shabbat, which ended with great pain after two people, a father and son, were murdered in a serious terror attack in Huwara.  I am sure that the IDF and security forces will lay hands on the despicable murderer.  We must not let terror defeat us.”



IDF: Iron Dome Downs Drone Flying From Gaza Toward Israel

The Iron Dome air defense system shot down an unmanned aircraft flying from the Gaza Strip toward Israel on Sunday morning (20th), the military said.

According to the Israeli Defense Forces, the drone was heading from the southern part of the Strip toward Israeli airspace, and the interceptor missiles were fired at the device while it was still over Gaza.

The drone “did not pose a threat to civilians in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said, adding that sirens were not activated in the towns close to the border “according to protocol.”

“From the moment it took off, air force systems followed its trajectory,” the IDF said.

Palestinian media reported a large explosion over the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

It was unclear if the drone belonged to the Gaza-ruling Hamas or another terrorist group.

Israel typically does not interfere when Hamas conducts drone test flights, only when they are being flown out of the Strip.

The Iron Dome was first used operationally to intercept a Hamas drone in May 2021, during an 11-day conflict with Palestinian terror groups in the Strip, known in Israel as  Operation Guardian of the Walls.

The IDF also shot down drones over the Gaza Strip in March of this year, May 2022, and in November 2021.

Update: The Iron Dome was again activated Monday Morning (21st) and fired at an unidentified object flying over Gaza, according to the IDF Spokespersons’ Unit. 




PA Constructing “New” Illegal City Which Threatens Gush Etzion

Under the title “Everything is Expected and the Palestinian Authority Builds,” the Gush Etzion Regional Council is currently engaging in an uncompromising battle, and demanding that government bodies immediately halt the establishment of an Arab city which is under construction by the Palestinian Authority in a treaty nature reserve in eastern Gush Etzion.

The city which the Arabs are now building in the heart of the desert is destroying the Judean Desert, per the Councils claims and is liable to serve as a base for terror cells that could operate from the city.

The Council also said that systematically ignoring the progress of the Arab city’s construction will lead to an irreversible and dangerous situation.

The Gush Etzion Council called on the Israeli government to immediately put a stop to the illegal building in the reserve and prevent serious damage to the Gush Etzion settlement and to the entire State of Israel.

Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman said, “This city is barbarian devastation, a blow to settlements, a final loss of governance on the most serious level, and in addition, obviously, it violates international agreements and understandings.  It presents a real danger to the settlement and to the State, and a loss of governance on the most severe level.  I call on all the decision-makers to come to this treaty reserve to understand the situation and immediately stop the continuation of this dangerous construction.”



Kosher Restaurants In Paris, LA Targeted Over Shabbat

The restaurant named “Mr. Shnitz,” is located in Levallois-Perret, northwest of the French capital.  It was tagged with the words “thief” seven times and “Jews” four times, according to the owner, who was on vacation.  The establishment was closed on Saturday (19th) for the Jewish Sabbath.

Police arrested a suspect on Saturday evening (19th).  The city’s CCTV footage was forwarded to the police.

Levallois-Perret Mayor Agnes Pottier-Dumas expressed shock at the incident, telling French news channel BFM TV that “the cleaning of the storefront will be carried out once the restaurant manager has  returned from his vacation.”

Levallois-Perret is home to a large Jewish community.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that he was “deeply shocked by these unbearable “anti-Semitic inscriptions” and praised the police for their response, noting the arrest.

“We firmly state that they will not win,” said Yonathan Arfi, president of CRIF, the Representative Council of Jewish institutions in France.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, several kosher restaurants were burglarized over Shabbat.

Police were investigating the targeting of he kosher restaurants in the Jewish neighborhood of Pico-Robertson on the city’s west side early Saturday (19th), ABC 7 Eyewitness News reported.

Five restaurants were targeted, including one set for a grand opening on Monday (21st), according to police.  The thieves smashed windows and took cash registers.

The targeted restaurants were Nagila Pizza, Fisherman’s Bowl, Shanghai Diamond Garden, Sushiko and Shalom Grill.