News Digest — 8/8/19

PM Netanyahu: ‘We’ll Apprehend The Abhorrent Terrorist’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Defense Minister, said on Thursday (8th), “This morning we were informed about a harsh stabbing attack.  The security forces are currently in pursuit to apprehend the abhorrent terrorist and bring him to justice.”

David Sorek, a 19-year-old soldier, was found dead from multiple stab wounds near the yeshiva where he studied in Gush Etzion in the early morning hours of Thursday (8th).

Israeli politicians expressed their sorrow and anger at the attack, including Israeli President Reuven Rivlin who said:

“Our prayers go out to the family of the soldier, who was murdered by a vile person.  We will strengthen the hands of the security forces who are after the killers and will not cease looking until they are captured.  Faced with this terrible terror, we will work uncompromisingly for the sake of our citizens everywhere.” 

Sorek’s rabbi said the young soldier had gone to Jerusalem to buy gifts for his teachers as was his custom.  

He was found still clutching the books he bought as presents, when his body was discovered,” Rabbi Shlomo Vilk, the head of Sorek’s yeshiva, told Army Radio on Thursday (8th).



IDF Soldier Found Stabbed To Death Near Hebron

The Israel Defense Forces said that the body of a soldier was found in the early hours of Thursday morning (8th) with stab wounds near the city of Hebron.  He was identified as Dvir Sorek, 19, from the town of Ofra, the son of Yoav Sorek, and grandson of Rabbi Benjamin Harling, who was killed by terrorists near Mount Ebal in 2000.

The soldier was a student in a yeshiva, at the first stage of his military service.  Our troops, together with Israeli security forces are searching the area,” the IDF reported.

IDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis said that a missing 19-year-old was reported during the night.  Troops called into the area discovered his body not far from the yeshiva in Migdal Oz, in Gush Etzion, where he studied.

“We are working on the assumption that there is a terrorist cell in the area that carried out the attack,” Manelis said.

Sorek’s family members were the ones who called in the report after not being able to make contact with him.  His body was found around 2:30 a.m.

The IDF suspects that this was an attempted kidnapping and that Sorek was killed in a place different from where he was found.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that security forces were “in pursuit now in order to capture the despicable terrorist and bring him to account.”



Palestinian Who Saved Jewish Kids After Terror Attack Gets Israeli Residency

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri Tuesday (6th) awarded Israeli residency to a Palestinian man who saved the children of a West Bank rabbi in the aftermath of the deadly terror attack in which the father was killed.

Rabbi Miki Mark was murdered in a July 1, 2016 shooting.  His wife, Chava, was seriously injured and their two teenage children were also hurt.  The Palestinian rescuer and his wife, residents of the Hebron area, helped the surviving members of the Mark family escape their overturned vehicle and administered first aid until first responders arrived at the scene.

The Palestinian man, who has not been named, received a temporary visa to work in Israel after receiving death threats in his hometown near the city of Hebron.

However, the visa was not renewed in August 2018 and for the last year he was unable to work, becoming homeless and living in limbo in Israel.

After his plight was revealed recently in a Channel 12 report, and following a campaign by several Israelis, including settler leaders, he was awarded Israeli residency on Tuesday (6th), along with his wife and son. 

While presenting him with his identity documents, Deri praised him for his “selfless, noble” actions and said he would now be able to begin a new life in Israel.

The residency entitles him to a work permit and social benefits, Deri said.

West Bank settler leader Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, who had campaigned for the Palestinian to be given residency, said it was the most “moral and righteous thing to do for a man who risked his life to save Jews.”

Three years ago the Palestinian man described what happened at the scene of the terror attack.

He said, after he managed to pry one of the doors open, he pulled 14-year-old Tehila Mark from the wrecked car.  He said his wife, who is a medical doctor, worked to stop the bleeding from the teen’s abdominal wound while he called an ambulance.

The man said he then removed 15-year-old Pedaya Mark from the car, and attempted to calm him.

“I took the boy and hugged him.  I gave him some water and applied iodine, and just kept telling him that everything was going to be fine,” he said.  “It doesn’t matter to me if it was an accident or a terror attack, it’s irrelevant. These are people, children, who need help, and if I can help, I will help them.”

“The girl told me, “God sent an Arab to help us,’’ he added.



Israel Assists The West Against Iran And Isis – Yoav Limor

→The news that Israel is involved in the U.S.-led naval mission to protect vessels traveling through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf against Iranian aggression cannot be separated from the overall campaign Israel has been waging against the Islamic Republic in recent years.

→The campaign began in the previous decade in an effort to quash Iran’s nuclear aspirations and has evolved to include preventing the regime from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, and curtailing the quantity and quality of weapons it funnels to militias in the Middle East, especially to Hezbollah.

→As a result, Israel is now the world’s number one expert on the Iranian issue.  Its operations encompass a host of covert and low-intensity military and intelligence efforts to prevent enemy states and terrorist organizations from becoming stronger and thwart their offensive activity.

→The overt part of this struggle includes countless operations and strikes on Iranian assets.  In 2018, then-IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot spoke of over 1,000 operations and strikes on Iranian assets.

→In fact, Israel’s intelligence-gathering superiority in the region is so great that it has been used for surveillance on ISIS in Syria.  In operations against the jihadi terrorist group, the acting force may have been Western, but the intelligence from which they were working was Israeli.

→It is important to remember that Israel is not taking the lead when it comes to the fight against Iran’s ambitions in the Persian Gulf or its nuclear aspirations – nor should it.  The U.S. is leading the campaign.



EJC: Closing Of Vilnius Synagogue ‘Extremely Ominous Sign’

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has called on the Lithuanian Government to take stronger measures and appropriate action to protect the Jewish community after its leaders made the decision to close its capital city’s sole synagogue and community center following threats and a rise in anti-Semitism.

“It is inconceivable that the Jewish community feels increasingly threatened and is not receiving the requisite security measures to allow it to go about its regular existence,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC said.  “We call on the authorities to take all necessary measures to protect the Jewish community, including taking a tougher line against those that threaten it like neo-Nazis.

The rise of anti-Semitism and threats against the Jewish community comes after the Vilnius municipality decided to remove a memorial plaque for a Lithuanian general killed by the Soviets who was a Nazi sympathizer and renamed the street.

“It is vital that those who collaborated with a genocidal regime are not celebrated or commemorated, regardless of whatever else they may have done,” Dr. Kantor continued.  “Siding with and supporting a regime responsible for the death of six million Jews, and tens of millions of others, should ensure that a person is beyond honor or tribute on any level.”

“There should be no tolerance for hate and anti-Semitism, and we welcome the decision by the Vilnius authorities,” Dr. Kantor continued.  “However, the fact that it has ended in the Jewish community shuttering its institutions, including a synagogue, for the first time since the Second World War, should be an extremely ominous sign and should be added motivation for the government and law enforcement agencies to act strongly and adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards anti-Semitism.”