News Digest — 9/14/21
Terror In Jerusalem: Three Stabbings In Three Days
Two individuals in their 20s were stabbed near Jerusalem’s Central Station on Monday (13th) in a suspected terrorist attack, and were evacuated to the nearby Shaare Zedek Medical Center in moderate condition.
The stabber, later identified as a 17-year-old resident of Hebron, was shot by Border Police and critically injured.
“The scene was chaotic when we first arrived,” said MDA paramedic Shlomi Pinhas. “The two injured victims were conscious and lying on the ground while suffering from multiple stab wounds. We treated them at the scene by stopping the bleeding and administering medication before quickly evacuating them to the hospital in moderate condition”
The Israeli Police said later that it was searching for people who may have assisted the suspected terrorist in reaching Jerusalem to carry out the attack.
Also, earlier on Monday (13th), an attempted stabbing attack was foiled by IDF troops at the Gush Etzion Junction, just south of Jerusalem.
According to the IDF, the suspect approached the junction and upon noticing a group of soldiers standing near a bus stop, started running toward them while shouting “Allahu Akbar” while holding a knife in his hand.
The soldiers responded and shot the suspected terrorist, critically injuring him.
On Friday night (10th) another incident was reported when a Police officer was injured during an attempted stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City.
This past week has seen an increase in violent confrontations reported between Palestinians and Israel security forces, which may remind Jerusalem residents of the terrorism wave of 2015 that was characterized by Palestinians, many of them very young, who carried out similar stabbing attacks throughout the capital for months on end.
Security analysts have attributed this renewed round of attacks and increase in violence to the escape of the six terrorists from the Gilboa Prison last week, two of whom are still on the run.
“There is no doubt that we are seeing an escalation,” Israel Police Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turjeman told reporters after Monday’s (13th) attacks. “We are prepared, deployed in the field, and ready for any scenario,” he said.
The heightened tensions have also manifested in more violence along the Gaza border, disrupting the daily lives of Israel’s southern population once again. Rocket attacks from Gaza, attributed to the Islamic Jihad, have also been renewed in the past three days.
EgyptAir Launches Direct Tel-Aviv-Cairo Route
Egyptian national air carrier EgyptAir plans to start operating direct flights between Tel Aviv and Cairo in October.
In March, officials confirmed that Egypt wanted its national airliner to offer direct service to Israel.
EgyptAir is expected to operate the four-times-a-week flights beginning in October after Sukkot (Sept. 20-27).
Currently, the only flights between Ben Gurion Airport and Cairo International Airport are operated discreetly by EgyptianAir subsidiary Air Sinai, which uses unmarked aircraft.
Air Sinai was established in 1982 under the terms of the 1979 Israel-Egyptian peace treaty, which stipulated that there must be active civilian aviation routes between the two countries.
On Monday (13th), Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for talks in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, a sign that bilateral ties are warming up.
Egypt has recently been playing a more active role in the region, brokering a ceasefire in May that ended Operation Guardian of the Walls, which saw Hamas launch thousands of rockets into Israel. Israel responded by attacking Hamas’ infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
In the months since the conflict ended, Sisi’s government has facilitated rebuilding efforts in Gaza and has offered to host an international summit in an attempt to revive talks between Israelis and Palestinians, which have been suspended since 2014.
Hundreds Of Legislators Call On UN To Stop Israel Discrimination
More than 300 lawmakers from Europe and North America have called on democracies to end bias by the United Nations against Israel.
“We 312 lawmakers from both sides of the Atlantic and from across party lines, call on EU member states and fellow democracies to help end the systematic discrimination of Israel at the UN,” they wrote in a petition published by the AJC Transatlantic Institute on Monday (13th).
In 2020, the UN General Assembly adopted 17 resolutions against Israel and six against six of the 192 member states for alleged human rights violations. Some 21% of the Human Rights Council’s resolutions focus solely on Israel, which is the only country with a permanent agenda item, the letter read.
Israel was the only country cited for alleged violations of women’s rights by the UN Economic and Social Council.
“Within the context of rising global anti-Semitism, the relentless, disproportionate and ritualistic condemnation of the world’s only Jewish state at the UN is particularly dangerous and must finally end,” the petition said. “Israel deserves attention and scrutiny, as does every other nation. But it also merits equal treatment – nothing more, nothing less.”
The 312 parliamentarians called on EU member states and other democracies “to vote against the excessive number of anti-Israel resolutions in the GA and other UN organs, try to abolish the UNHRC permanent agenda item against Israel, and work on dissolving discriminatory UN committees and programs specifically formed against Israel.”
The letter was signed by lawmakers from various parties in the US, Israel, Canada, the UK, Norway, and Switzerland, as well as EU member states Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Several Greek cabinet members also signed it.
Jerusalem Mufti: Muslims Outraged By Possible Shofar On Temple Mount
Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, issued a warning Monday (13th) against what he called Jewish attempts to “damage” the Al Aqsa Mosque by blowing the shofar on the Temple Mount on Yom Kippur.
The Temple Mount is the holiest place in Judaism, while the Al Aqsa Mosque, which sits at the southern end of the Mount, is the third-holiest site in Islam.
In a statement issued Monday (13th), Hussein said the Temple Mount organizations are demanding that the Waqf allow them to bring chairs and Torah scrolls to the Temple Mount to conduct Torah study there, and to open all gates to Jews and not just the Mughrabi Gate, for Yom Kippur.
Hussein strongly condemned the protection given by Israeli authorities to members of “extremist groups” that break into the Al Aqsa Mosque ‘every day’ in ‘large numbers’ while ‘wearing priestly clothes’ and ‘blowing the shofar’ under the pretext of Jewish holidays.”
According to the Mufti, Israel’s policy of permitting Jewish visits and prayer requires an immediate Arab-Islamic response, and he appealed to the relevant Muslim and Arab bodies and organizations to intervene in a situation that could degenerate into a religious war, as the goal of “the extremist Zionist groups is to destroy the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque and build the Temple in its place.”
In addition, he accused the “Israeli occupation authorities” of unjustifiably closing the Ibrahimi Mosque (the Islamic name of the Cave of the Patriarchs) because of the Jewish holidays, calling the annual move an “aggression and heinous crime” designed to deprive Muslims of religious freedom.
Yom Kippur will begin at sundown Wednesday (15th) and will end Thursday evening (16th).
Ideological Fatigue Among West Bank Palestinians – Maj.-Gen Tamir Yadai
Maj.-Gen Tamir Yadai, completing his tenure as head of IDF Central Command, told Israel Hayom in an interview this week: “The Palestinian Authority is in a deep ideological crisis. Their core argument that any diplomatic agreement in the Middle East must pass through Ramallah has been eroded by the Abraham Accords. Its domestic legitimacy vis-a-vis the Palestinian public, also no longer leans on ideology, but on daily functionality….Fatah is divided and plagued by internal rivalries; Hamas, on the other hand, has built up a top-level organizational and political infrastructure, which it aims to use in the future as the basis for a military foundation.”
“In Judea and Samaria, there is fatigue with ideological struggles. People want to live, especially the 1.2 million young people in the West Bank who are in no hurry to die a martyr’s death for either Hamas or Fatah’s ideologies.”
“The standard of living in Judea and Samaria is reasonable,” he explains. “Go into any mall in Ramallah or Nablus and you will see for yourself. In Jenin you can’t find a table at a cafe. In Rawabi, prices are like those in Kfar Saba. People have a life. You can travel from Jenin to Hebron and not see one roadblock along the way….When the average Palestinian sees what is happening in Syria, Iraq, Aghanistan, Egypt, Libya, and Gaza, they really don’t want to be involved in that type of chaos or live there.”