News Digest — 8/26/19

IDF Captures Terrorists Who Carried Out Attack That Killed 17-Year-Old Teen

Israeli security forces captured the terrorists who carried out Friday’s (23rd) attack at Danny’s Spring near the Jewish town of Dolev.  The IDF said the two terrorists are residents of the Palestinian village of Kobar.

The capture followed a two-day manhunt as the IDF gradually closed in on the killers, first discovering their getaway vehicle and then arresting and interrogating several suspects in the Ramallah area on Sunday night (25th).

The attack at Danny’s Spring claimed the life of Rina Shnerb, 17, severely injured her brother, Dvir, 19, and lightly injured her father, Rabbi Eitan Shnerb, 46.  Dvir is expected to make a full recovery.

The three family members were visiting a spring named in memory of terror victim Dani Gonen who was murdered there by Arab terrorists in 2015.

As they walked on the path leading to the spring, a land mine hidden by the terrorists was detonated.  Rabbi Shnerb said afterward that his daughter saved them as she absorbed most of the blast.

In response to the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday (26th) that he has instructed that a new neighborhood be built in Dolev.  It will include 300 housing units.

“We will take root and cripple our enemies.  We will continue to strengthen and develop the settlement,” the prime minister said.



New Drone Attack Kills Six In Iraq, Including Commander In Iran-Backed Militia

On Sunday (25th) members of an Iraqi militia, backed by Iran, announced that the latest drone attack on its troops and weapons killed six fighters, including a field commander.

According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Mayadeen news site, the strike hit Iraq’s al-Qaim region near the Syrian border, and was carried out by an Israeli drone, Times of Israel reported.  Similar to previous recent attacks in Iraq, the Israeli military did not comment on this latest incident involving an Iranian-backed proxy militia in Iraq.

According to a statement issued by Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which is an Iranian proxy force, two unidentified drones killed Iraqi members of an Iran-backed paramilitary force called the Hezbollah Brigades.

The PMF statement said the attack occurred in Anbar province near the Qaim border crossing with Syria, and targeted the Hezbollah Brigades faction, also known as Brigade 45.

Iraq’s Hezbollah Brigades operate under the umbrella of the state-sanctioned militias known collectively as the PMF, which are supported by Iran.

If confirmed, it would be the latest in a series of attacks that have targeted PMF bases and weapons depots in Iraq.  U.S. officials have said that Israel was behind at least one of them.

On Sunday (25th), Israel released footage of a failed kamikaze drone strike on the Jewish state that Iranian-backed terrorists in Syria tried to mount.  On Saturday night, (24th) the IDF thwarted the drone attack using a preemptive strike that included firing missiles into the Damascus area.

Israel ultimately destroyed the drones before they could be launched.

According to the IDF, “Iran and the Syrian regime are directly responsible for the attempted attack.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented, “In a major operational effort, we have thwarted an attack against Israel by the Iranian Quds Force and Shiite militias.  I reiterate: Iran has no immunity anywhere. Our forces operate in every sector against the Iranian aggression.”

He added, “If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first,” quoting a Talmudic mandate.

Netanyahu said the planned drone attacks, which were to have been undertaken by Iranian-aligned militias, were ordered by Tehran and prepared by the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, led by leader Qasem Soleimani.

“I would like to stress that we will not tolerate aggression against Israel from any country in the region.  Any country that allows its territory to be used for aggression against Israel will face the consequences, and I repeat: The country will face the consequences,” he added.



3 Rockets Fired At Israel From Gaza As Tensions Soar; Iron Dome Intercepts 2

Three rockets were fired at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on Sunday night (25th), sending thousands of residents rushing to bomb shelters.

Two of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the army said.

One rocket exploded near a highway, sparking a fire, local officials said.  One woman sustained minor injuries as she ran to a bomb shelter and six others suffered anxiety attacks according to medics.

The rocket attack came amid heightened tensions throughout the Middle East, as Israel squared off against its nemesis Iran and its proxies in multiple countries.

Tehran provides tens of millions of dollars each year to terror groups in the Gaza Strip, mainly to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which rules the enclave.

Last week, rockets were fired from the enclave late Wednesday (21st) and early Thursday (22nd), prompting Israeli reprisal attacks.

Also, Friday (23rd), some 8,500 Palestinians took part in protests along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, which were some of the largest and most violent in recent months.

A number of protesters threw explosives, grenades, and Molotov cocktails at Israeli troops.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said 122 Palestinians were wounded in the clashes, 50 from Israeli fire.



“The Occupation” – How The EU Discriminates Against Israel – Prof. Hillel Frisch

Israel is deemed by the EU as an occupying power even though some of the greatest legal minds in international law, such as Elihu Hirsh Lauterpacht and Eugene Rostow, question whether Israeli rule in the West Bank – rule that resulted from Jordanian aggression – was ever in fact an occupation, as Jordanian sovereignty over the area was never recognized by most states.

Turkey militarily occupied northern Cyprus in 1974.  China occupied Tibet in the 1950s. Morocco occupied parts of Western Sahara in 1977.  “Occupation” continues in all three places. Yet only Israel has a deep historical claim to the area it “occupies.”  The Jewish Scriptures mention the area hundreds of times, so frequently that it is abundantly clear that Judea and Samaria were the centers of Jewish life and politics for thousands of years.

A search of the European Commission’s Internet site found the following: Israeli military occupation – 85 results; Turkish military occupation – 3; Moroccan military occupation – 2; and Chinese military occupation – 0.  It is hard to understand why Israeli “occupation” receives nearly 30 times more consideration (and opprobrium) than Turkish occupation and colonization, and over 40 times more than Moroccan occupation, while the Chinese colonization of Tibet is not viewed as an occupation at all.

The writer is a professor of political and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at its BESA Center.



90 Years Later, Last-Known Jewish Survivor Recalls “Hebron Massacre” – Tovah Lazaroff

Time has not dimmed the powerful memories that Avraham Kiryati, 98, has of the moment his grandfather, Eliyahu Capilouto, was stabbed during the Hebron Massacre on August 24, 1929 that killed over 67 Jews.  “My grandfather was dressed just like the Arabs,” said Kiryati. “He went out to see what was going on. They [the rioters] pushed him aside and stabbed him on the side of his body.”

Kiryati escaped out the back door of his grandparents’ home and made his way to the family chicken coop where he hid until it was safe.  When he returned, he found Eliyahu lying on the floor in a pool of blood as his grandmother Rivka blocked the wounds with coffee grounds.  In the following months, his grandfather died of his wounds.

Kiryati is a descendant of Jews who escaped the Spanish Inquisition, settling first in Safed and then in Hebron.  He said all the survivors of the massacre were taken to Jerusalem. In the early 1930s, his grandmother Rivka was among a small number of families who returned to Hebron and attempted to resurrect the Jewish community there, but the British insisted that they leave during the Arab uprising of 1936.

Kiryati was in the British army, and in 1942 he returned to Hebron with the British and took a photograph of the Jewish cemetery, which was later used to locate the graves of the massacre victims.  During the 1967 Six-Day War he was part of the unit that liberated Gush Etzion and Hebron from the Jordanians. He went to Hebron to look for the Jewish cemetery, but instead of graves he found a tomato garden.  Kiryati is a firm believer that today, as then, the Palestinians want to drive the Jews into the sea. “We do not have any choice but to remain strong,” he said.