October 17, 2018

Netanyahu: Israel Is The Only Country In The Middle East Where The Christian Community Thrives

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem Sunday (14th):

→“Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian community thrives and grows.”

→“Bethlehem had – when we handed it over to the Palestinian Authority – a Christian population of roughly 80%.  Now it’s about 20%. And that change happened because in the Palestinian Authority areas, as well as throughout the Middle East, Christians are being constricted, they’re being pressured, also they’re being persecuted.”

→“Israel is the one country that protects the human rights of all….We don’t just protect Christian religious sites – we protect Christian people.  Christians should enjoy all the freedom to worship as they please in the Middle East and anywhere else and the only place in the Middle East where they can do so is Israel.”

→“We have no better friends in the world than our Christian friends and I take this opportunity to thank you for your steadfast support.  You are standing up for Israel and you are standing up for the truth and we stand up for you.”



Terrorist Killed Amid Attempted Stabbing Attack In Samaria

Israeli security forces on Monday (15th) shot and killed a Palestinian terrorist who attempted to stab soldiers near the Jewish town of Ariel.  No Israeli troops were harmed in the incident.

According to available details, the man arrived at the Gitai Junction, near the Barkan Industrial Park in Samaria, and tried to stab one of the soldiers manning the checkpoint.

The troops engaged the terrorist opening fire. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

This was the third terrorist incident in the area in the span of a week.

Two people were wounded Thursday (11th) in a stabbing attack near the Shomron Regional Brigade army base.  One reserve soldier suffered moderate wounds and a woman bystander, suffered minor wounds.

Two Israelis were killed and a third was wounded last Sunday (7th) in a shooting attack in the Barkan Industrial Park.  The terrorist is still at large.



UN Forces Cross Israel-Syria Border For First Time In 4 Years

United Nations personnel passed through a reopened crossing between Israel and Syria Monday (15th) for the first time since the crossing was shuttered because of the civil war that had engulfed Syria for more than seven years.

The UN oversaw Monday’s reopening ceremony of the Quneitra crossing in the Golan Heights.  The crossing was closed in 2014 after rebel groups moved into the area, driving out the UN force.

Syrian forces recaptured the Quneitra area in July.  The UN has been monitoring a military disengagement agreement between Israel and Syria since 1974.  The reopened crossing will for now be used exclusively for UN forces, Israel’s military said.

Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the UN forces took up positions on the Israeli side and redeployed to headquarters on the Syrian side.

“We look to both Israel and Syria to provide UN peacekeepers the access they need as well as assurances of their safety.  We also call on Syria to take the necessary steps so UNDOF can safely and effectively deploy and patrol without interference,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Friday (12th).

Earlier Monday (15th), Jordan and Syria also reopened the Nasib crossing, a vital gateway between the two countries, three years after the commercial lifeline fell to rebel groups and traffic was halted.

The reopening of both crossings is a major boost to the Syrian government, keen on sending messages to its citizens and the world that it is slowly emerging victorious from the bloody conflict and beginning to restore vital services and relations.

The resumption of commercial trade through the Nasib crossing will be a diplomatic victory for Assad, whose government has been isolated from its Arab neighbors since the war began in 2011.

Arab countries have boycotted the Syrian government since the early days of the war, freezing its membership in the 22-member-state Arab League.

(israelhayom.com; jpost.com)


Putin-Rouhani Cut Deal To Ensure Iran Evades US Sanctions, Israel Warns

Russia and Iran have agreed on a mechanism to spare Iran the impact of what is intended by the US to be crippling sanctions on its oil industry starting next month, an Israeli Foreign Ministry document reportedly warns.

The mechanism provides for Iran to export crude oil to Russia across the Caspian Sea.  The oil will then be refined at Russian refineries, and from there it will be exported worldwide, the “secret” document states, according to a report on Hadashot TV News Sunday (14th).

In return, Moscow will provide Iran with unspecified trade and service benefits.

The goal of the mechanism, the reported Israeli document makes clear, is to enable Iran to bypass the US sanctions on its oil industry that are set to come into focus on November 4.

The US administration, which withdrew from the 2015 PS+1 world powers nuclear deal with Iran, is hoping that escalated sanctions will cripple the Iran economy and force Tehran to come back to the negotiating table, where US President Donald Trump would aim to reach a new deal that would more stringently deny Iran any means of attaining nuclear weapons.

The Russian-Iranian deal was reportedly reached last month in Tehran, where Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held summit talks.

(timesofisrael.com; afp.com)


Palestinian Baby Gets Life-Saving Heart From Israeli Child

While political and military battles in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rage-on outside the Gates of Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, a Palestinian baby named Musa received a potentially lifesaving gift from a Jewish Israeli child who passed away.

Indeed, Musa is the first Palestinian baby to get a heart transplant from a Jewish child, reported JTA, based on a statement released by Dr. David Mishaly, chief surgeon at the Sheba Medical Center’s Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery Unit.

One-year-old Musa remains in critical condition after the operation, but his chances of survival have increased after the remarkable surgery.

Mishaly described “several miracles associated with this complicated surgery,” including the fact that Musa arrived at Sheba Hospital just a few hours after the Jewish child’s parents agreed to donate the heart.  With no other recipients waiting, Musa was prepared for the transplant and received the organ.

Mishaly described his institution as “an island, an oasis of peace, where healing is the priority and everyone, regardless of who the patient is, is treated equally with dignity and respect.”  

Musa’s grandmother, declared in a statement that her family wants to meet the donor’s family to “thank them for their generosity,” reported JTA.

(worldisraelnews.com; jta.org)