News Digest — 9/27/21

2 Soldiers Injured In Clashes Near Joseph’s Tomb In Nablus

Sunday night (26th), dozens of Palestinians attacked a convoy of buses carrying Jewish worshipers traveling to Joseph’s Tomb, a sacred Jewish site in the city of Nablus (Shechem).  The military confirmed that two soldiers sustained minor injuries in the clash.

Rioters hurled homemade explosives and stones at IDF soldiers and Border Police officers before opening fire on the troops, the IDF said.

The troops were part of a force guarding 300 worshipers who were traveling to Joseph’s Tomb for Sukkot prayers. All were evacuated from the area safely.

Border Police officers engaged the attackers, returned fire, and used crowd control measures to disperse the rioters.

Two officers were injured in two separate incidents: one was hit by shrapnel from an explosive device and another was hit in the face with a rock.  Both received immediate medical attention at the scene.  A patrol vehicle was damaged during the clashes as well.

The incident came on the heels of a battle that took place early Sunday morning (26th) in the West Bank when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on IDF forces conducting a counterterrorism operation in the Jenin and Ramallah areas.



Hamas Cell Hit In West Bank Raids, Massive Jerusalem Terror Attack Planned – TV

Raids that targeted members of a Hamas cell in the West Bank early Sunday morning (26th), and killed five Palestinian suspects, prevented a major terror attack reminiscent of the Second Intifada, officials told Hebrew- language television networks.  Two Israeli soldiers were also wounded.

The cell planned to conduct a sequence of kidnappings and murders across the country defense officials told Channel 13 News 

Officials told Channel 12 that the cell had also been planning a major attack in Jerusalem, similar to those seen during the violent uprising in the early 2000s, without elaborating further. 

The arrest operation began after the Shin Bet realized that the group was apparently set to carry out an attack imminently, the network said.

The Israel Defense Forces believe some members of the Hamas cell are still on the loose.  In total, some 20 suspected members of the cell have been arrested in recent days, according to the military.

Officials suspect there was a direct line of communication between the cell and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group.

The operations against the cell will likely continue in the coming days, officials told Kan public broadcaster.  However, the IDF believes it largely prevented the group’s attacks, according to military assessments.  

“This is a significant achievement, a night of a series of preemptive raids of the utmost importance that prevented – from our understanding – significant terrorist attacks.  Such attacks could have been carried out in Jerusalem, Netanya, Tel Aviv, or anywhere else,” IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said on Sunday afternoon (26th), speaking from the Israel Defense Forces’ Menashe Regional Brigade headquarters, following a situational assessment.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett confirmed that the Hamas cell was planning to carry out imminent terror attacks.

“Security forces acted overnight in Judea and Samaria against Hamas terrorists who were poised to carry out terror attacks in the near future.” Bennett said in a statement, en route to New York to speak at the United Nations General Assembly.

The IDF refused to comment more specifically on what the alleged Hamas cell was suspected of planning to do, but said that most of the members were arrested with weapons in their possession and that some of them had opened fire at Israeli troops during the raids.



Christians From Egypt, Turkey, And 26 Other Nations Bless Israel In New Video

Christians from nearly 30 countries sent a prayer for peace and divine blessing to Israel through a special Sukkot video that has thus far garnered around 100,000 views.

The video of “Btfilah Amen” was created by Christian Zionist recording artists, musicians, and choirs, and debuted on the eve of the Sukkot holiday as part of the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem’s Feast of Tabernacles kick-off event.  It was then uploaded to social networks and has garnered 75,000 views on YouTube and around 25,000 on Facebook in just a few days.

ICEJ usually hosts the Feast of Tabernacles live in Jerusalem with around 6,000 attendees.  However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the embassy has been forced to move it online for the last two years.  This year, hundreds of thousands of participants have been watching eight days of broadcasts from the Holy Land.  Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and President Isaac Herzog all took part in the opening ceremony.

The song “Btfilah Amen” was Israel’s entry into the 1995 Eurovision song contest.

Its lyrics are in Hebrew.  Translated, they ask God to “give a blessing of peace and guard our house” and to “bring us closer to the dream within us” and to “open our hearts that we will always sing to You.”

This latest version was performed by singers and musicians from Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, Fiji, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, The United Kingdom, and the United States.

“Your devotion to Israel is not only a blessing for us,” Bennett said during the opening event last week, “but it has helped us sustain our situation during the most trying times, including wars.  You rejoice in Israel’s many triumphs, and you stand with us side-by-side when we most need it.”

He said that Christian love for Israel is “legendary.”



On This Day: French Jews Given Full Rights Under The Law

On September 27, 1791, the French National Assembly voted to give the Jewish people of France equal rights under the law.

Gradual improvement in conditions for Jews was making headway leading up to the vote.  In 1785, the poll tax on Jews was abolished and restrictions on locations of Jewish settlement were done away with.

However, when the Declaration of the Rights of Man was passed in August of 1789, it was interpreted at the time to not include Jews.

The Lai relative aux juifs was passed September 27, 1791, proposed by Adrien-Jean-Fracois Dupont.  The text reads:

“I believe that freedom of worship does not permit any distinction in the political rights of citizens on account of their creed.  The question of the political existence of the Jews has been postponed.  Still, the Muslims and the men of all sects are admitted to enjoy political rights in France.  I demand that the motion for postponement be withdrawn, and a decree passed that the Jews in France enjoy the privileges of full citizens.”

This proposition was accepted with applause.  Several attempted to oppose the motion, but the president of the Assembly suggested: “that everyone who spoke against this notion should be called to order because he would be opposing the constitution itself.”

Two days later, the National Assembly separated, and on November 13, Louis XVI ratified the law declaring Jewish people French citizens.



Israel-Developed ‘Robotaxis’ To Debut In Munich Next Year

Driverless robotaxis are set to hit the streets of Munich next year, courtesy of Israeli autonomous-driving technology giant Mobileye and partners.

Plans for the robotaxi service were recently unveiled at the IAA Mobility Conference in Munich.  Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and Sixt SE Co-CEO Alexander Sixt announced the collaboration, which will see riders hailing driverless cabs using either the Sixt app or Moovit app.

Intel acquired Mobileye for a record sum of $15.3 billion in 2017, and purchased Moovit for approximately $900 million last year. Sixt, meanwhile, is an international mobility-services-provider, headquartered in Germany.

The CEOs also unveiled the vehicles themselves, marking the first time Mobileye displayed its fully integrated self-driving system in a vehicle to be used for commercial ride-hailing services.

Germany recently enacted a law that allows for driverless vehicles on the roads, enabling the robotaxis to begin early rider testing in Munich next year.  Following the tests and pending regulatory approval, the fleet will move on to commercial operations.

“With strong logistics and operational partners like Sixt, Mobileye can bring the promise of full autonomy to life in cities around the world,” said Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua.  “We’re delighted that Germany is a first mover,” he said.