News Digest — 8/4/23

Palestinian Authority Minister Filmed Burning Jewish Property In Broad Daylight

The head of the Palestinian Authority’s “Colonization and Wall Resistance Committee,” Minister Moayad Shaaban, and other committee members were filmed on Thursday (3th) destroying and burning property belonging to a Jewish farm near the village of Avnei Hefetz in Samaria.

The Palestinian minister was filmed during Arab riots led by him as he destroyed and burned the farm’s property, including a hut built near a cistern to be enjoyed by tourists to the area.  A month ago, terrorists opened fire on tourists who were bathing in the cistern.  The tourists were miraculously unscathed in the attack.

In addition to Shaaban, additional committee members were filmed, including Morad Shitawi, the coordinator for the committee’s northern district.  Despite the fact that the riot and vandalism occurred in broad daylight and the perpetrators were unmasked, no arrests have been made.

The committee even proudly took to its official Facebook page, writing, “The head of the Wall Resistance and Settlement Committee, Minister Shaaban, the staff of the committee and the residents of Kafr a-Labad removed and burned a nucleus of a settler property located on the lands of the town east of Tulkarem.

The Colonization and Wall Resistance Committee is the PA body that is behind the majority of Arab riots in Judea and Samaria.  The committee is led by Minister Shaaban, a released convict who served 11 years in prison, and it consists of additional activists, most of them released terrorists as well.

The “The Fight For Every Dunam” forum, which tracks the committee’s operations commented: “This is negligence and recklessness on the part of the defense establishment.  For several years already, the Colonization and Wall Resistance Committee’s terrorists have been going around Judea and Samaria unhindered, they go from village to village, planting terror, inciting, and leading violent riots and attacks on civilians and IDF soldiers.”

“The names, faces and even the condemning footage of the heads of the snake are known to the defense establishment heads, and were sent to them by the forum’s representatives.  But despite it all, nothing has been done and no one was arrested.  The severe incident which occurred this morning (Thursday the 3rd) is an additional reminder of the destructive results.” 

MK Tzvi Succot sent a complaint to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in which he demanded Shaaban’s arrest: “Following the footage of PA Minister Moayad Shaaban in which he, together with residents of the village of a-Labad, deconstructed and burned Jewish property near Avnei Hefetz in Samaria, I ask you, with the power invested in you, to order the immediate arrest and trial of Shaaban.”

“These severe acts of intentional arson by a man with a broad public influence, who is a minister in the Palestinian Authority are unbearable and demand significant action,”



Why Doesn’t Anyone Ask Why There Is A Refugee Camp In Jenin? – Mitchell Bard

• In all the coverage of Israel’s operation to root out terrorists from the Jenin refugee camp, did anyone ask: Why is there a refugee camp in an area controlled by the Palestinians?

• The Oslo Accords gave the responsibility for Jenin to the Palestinian Authority, which might have been expected to ameliorate the suffering of the residents by dismantling the camp and moving the “refugees” into permanent housing.  But neither Yasser Arafat nor Mahmoud Abbas had any interest in helping them.

• The international community showered billions of dollars on the PA, yet no funds were allocated to eliminate the camp.

• The PA, not Israel, keeps more than 12,000 people in the Jenin camp and nearly 1.4 million in 25  others under its control.  International supporters of the Palestinians don’t care about the people in Jenin or any other refugee camp unless Israel can be blamed for the hardships.

• During the years it controlled Gaza, Israel wanted to move the people out of camps.  However, the Arabs would sponsor UN resolutions demanding that Israel “desist from the removal and resettlement of Palestinian refugees.”

• For those who claim to be interested in the Palestinians’ welfare, a good place to start would be to demand that the PA dismantle the refugee camps and move the residents into permanent housing where they can begin to live normal lives.  The same demand should be made on Arab countries that maintain camps and refuse Palestinian citizenship.

The writer is executive director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise



Lebanese PM To Abbas: ‘End The Fighting In Ain Al-Hilweh

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Thursday (3rd) called Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to demand an end to the volatile situation in Lebanon’s largest “Palestinian refugee camp,” warning that the army may have to intervene to stop the days-long fighting that has left dozens dead and wounded, the Associated Press reported.

The deadly clashes in recent days between Palestinian Arab factions in Ain Al-Hilweh, located near the southern port city of Sidon, have been going on since Sunday (7/30), though a tentative calm returned to the camp and surrounding area on Thursday (3rd), after a night of renewed clashes.

As of Monday (7/31) at least 11 people had been killed and dozens were wounded in the fighting, according to UNRWA.

In his telephone call with Abbas. Mikati called the fighting a “flagrant violation of Lebanese sovereignty.”  Mikati also said it was unacceptable for the warring groups to “terrorize the Lebanese, especially the people of the south who have embraced the Palestinians for many years,” according to a statement released by his office and quoted by the AP.

The latest fighting has pitted Abbas’ Fatah party against Islamist groups Jund al Sham and Shabab al Muslim.  Fatah has accused the Islamists of gunning down Fatah military general Abu Ashraf al Armoushi in the camp on Sunday (7/30).

Ain Al-Hilweh is notorious for its lawlessness, and violence is not uncommon.  The UN says about 55,000 live there.

Lebanese residents who are registered as “Palestinian refugees” and their descendants who were born in that country reside in residential neighborhoods known as “refugee camps,” have limited work options and are refused citizenship.

Lebanon refuses to naturalize the “Palestinian refugees” and has stressed the need to work for their return to their country of origin, which Palestinian Arabs claim is Israel.

According to a population census conducted in 2017, there are 174,422 “Palestinian refugees” residing in Lebanon in 12 camps.



Israeli NGOs Screen South Sudan Kids For Life Saving Surgery

In November 2022, representatives of two Israeli non-governmental humanitarian organizations –Save A Child’s Heart and IsraAID – traveled to crisis-hit South Sudan for a special mission.  The delegation screened dozens of children for congenital heart defects to identify those with the most severe symptoms and bring them to Israel for life saving surgeries.

Save a Child’s Heart was founded at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon in 1995 to treat children from countries where access to pediatric care is limited or non-existent.  IsraAID is a humanitarian aid organization that has responded to emergencies in 56 countries  since its founding in 2001.

The four children picked to undergo procedures in Israel were successfully treated by Save A Child’s Heart at the Sylvan Adam’s Children’s Hospital and the Ida Cabakoff International Pediatric Cardiac Center.

Last week, the delegation returned to South Sudan’s capital of Juba to conduct the grueling mission all over again.  Cardiologists from Save a Child’s Heart screened 74 children at Al-Sabbah Children’s Hospital over three days.

Among the children identified as needing urgent treatment was four-year-old Gladis.  Dr. Akiva Tamir, pediatric cardiologist and one of the founders of Save A Child’s Heart examined the girl and discovered that aside from the heart condition she was born with, recently an obstruction developed in her heart that is blocking blood flow to the lungs.

“In this condition, every little stimulation can be the last one.  She is a very sweet and happy little girl, and when I examined her, I realized immediately that she needs an urgent operation to save her life,” said Tamir.

“The delegation was supposed to fly back to Israel the next day and we decided to try and bring her with us,” said Save A Child’s Heart Deputy Executive  Director Tamar Shapira.

That was quite the task, considering that the process of transporting the children for medical treatment normally requires a few weeks of work, which includes issuing passports, visa entries, flight tickets, insurance and more.

One of the doctors at the Sudanese hospital contacted a friend at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who vowed to get passports for Gladis and her mother by the next morning.  Israeli Ambassador to South Sudan Gershon Keidar helped the pair obtain entry visas, while Ethiopian Airlines arranged flight tickets.

“We flew from Juba to Addis Ababa [in Ethiopia], had a four-hour layover, and then took another flight to Tel Aviv.  For a girl in her condition it was very risky.  But the alternative, to stay in South Sudan and wait for a few weeks to be sent to Israel with the first group of children, was more dangerous,” said Shapira.

Gladis is currently in stable condition at the Sylvan Adams Children’s Hospital in Israel and is scheduled to undergo the lifesaving operation in the coming days.

“I am hopeful and happy,” Gladis’ mother told Israel21c.  “I found out that Gladis was sick two years ago.  Since then I have been living in fear, not knowing how I can save my little girl.  I am grateful for Save A Child’s Heart and I pray that Gladis will be saved and grow up healthy and happy.”



Jerusalem Sheik: ‘There’s No Proof The Temples Ever Existed’

Sheik Ikhrama Sabri, the head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, attacked what he called the intentions of “extremist settlers” to slaughter and burn the ashes of the ‘Red Heifer’ on the Temple Mount.

Under Jewish law (halakha), the only way to remove the ritual impurity that comes from contact with or being in proximity to the dead, such as entering a cemetery is through a ritual that includes sprinkling the ashes of a completely red heifer on the person with the impurity.

Last month a Red heifer was displayed at the Ancient Shiloh site in the Binyamin Regional Council after being brought to Israel, the first of three to be brought to Shiloh.  The completely pure Red Heifers will be housed at the Ancient Shiloh biblical heritage Site.

Sabri called the idea of performing the ritual in modern times “a dangerous idea against the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and the holy places.”

He claimed that bringing five Red Heifers from the United States to Israel was based on a “false belief” by Jewish “extremists” who seek to “Judaize” the Al Aqsa Mosque, and thereby desecrate it.

“For every action that the occupation carries out in Jerusalem or in the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque, they dress up the religious aspect in order to promote their view and encourage the Jews of the world to immigrate to Palestne,” he stated.

Sabri claimed that there has been no archaeological evidence showing that any Jewish Temples stood on the Temple Mount.  “Therefore, they invented the story about the cows that were imported from the US, and this shows the failure that befell the Zionist movement and the occupation after they did not find a single stone during the excavations and drilling that would prove that they had anything to do with the so-called Temple of Solomon or any proof that it had anything to do with Hebrew history.”

Despite Sabri’s claim, there is abundant historical and archaeological evidence proving the existence of the First and Second Temples, including an ancient stone inscription warning non-Jews not to enter the Holy Temple.

Sabri mentioned the outcry that followed the installation of magnetometers at the entrances of the Temple Mount following a terrorist attack in which two policemen were murdered in 2017, and said that any attempt to bring a Red Heifer to the Mount would be met with similar resistance.

“The conflict with the Zionist occupation takes place on all levels, religious, political, civilizational, cultural and existential.  Since the occupation opened the campaign in its broad aspects, there is therefore no justification to separate the religious conflict from the political conflict and the cultural conflict,” he added.