September 10, 2018

Israel To Close West Bank, Gaza During Upcoming Holidays

The Israeli military announced that it will close the crossings into the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the upcoming holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, as it does nearly every year.

Closures for Jewish and Israeli holidays are a routine procedure, intended both to prevent terror attacks in Israel during the holiday period and to allow Israeli security officials who operate the crossings to celebrate the festivals.

The Rosh Hashanah closure will begin on Saturday at midnight (8th) and last till 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday (12th), the army said.  The Jewish New Year holiday begins on Sunday evening (9th) and lasts through Tuesday night (11th).

In addition, the Erez Crossing into the Gaza Strip, which has been closed since Wednesday (5th) due to a riot on the Palestinian side of the facility the day before, will remain shuttered as a punitive measure until next week, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced on Tuesday (4th).

The Yom Kippur closing is scheduled to begin at midnight on Monday the 17th and end at midnight on Tuesday the 18th.  

The closure for the week-long Sukkot festival will begin on September 22nd at midnight.  It will continue for the full week, ending on October 1 at midnight.

The closures come amid a period of increased tension in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.



Hamas Bomb Expert Killed In ‘Accidental Explosion’

The Gazan Ministry of Interior announced Wednesday (5th) that Hamas commander Abdel Rahim Abbas was killed in an “accidental explosion” in the bomb disposal unit headquarters.

It said the blast was caused by “the ignition of explosives during inspection,” in the Passports Building at the Department of Explosives Engineering west of Gaza City, and that the ensuing fire was put out by police and civil defense units arriving on the scene.

The Gazan Ministry of Health said that two other people were treated for minor injuries due to the accident.

The Izz al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades put out a statement praising the 42-year-old lieutenant colonel as a “martyr” who had a life of “great and honorable jihad.”  The terrorist group lauded Abbas as a diligent field commander who trained Hamas security forces well and saw the “fruit” of his labor in the “digging of tunnels of pride and dignity for the homeland,” referring to the terror tunnels Hamas digs into Israel for the purposes of committing terror attacks in Jewish communities.

One such tunnel was used during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, when Hamas fighters used it to make off with the body of IDF Lt. Hadar Goldin, which the terror group has held ever since as a bargaining chip.

The IDF has successfully located and destroyed numerous such tunnels in the years following Operation Protective Edge.



Israel Unveils New Concrete Security Barrier On Lebanese Border

As the Hizbullah terror group continues to stockpile rockets in Lebanon and amass forces under the auspices of its benefactor, Iran, Israel publicly unveiled this week a new security structure to protect against threats from the north.

While Israel maintains that the concrete barrier, which measures over nine and a half feet tall and stretches across almost 18 miles of the border, complies with relevant laws and reflects the boundaries established by the international armistice line, Lebanon has protested the wall, claiming the structure violates its sovereignty.

Dismissing Lebanese complaints lodged with UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL, which acts as a go-between for the nations, IDF Maj. Tomer Gilad classified Lebanon’s protests as baseless, reported Israel media.

With the border wall constructed south of the UN-recognized border between Israel and Lebanon, also known as the “Blue Line,” the IDF maintains that it raises no questions with regard to disputed territories.

The barrier is a portion of a structure approved by the IDF, which is designed to protect the 22 Israeli villages in the area that have been identified as targets of terror operations by Hizbullah.  In addition to serving as a physical barrier, the wall also provides a structure for IDF surveillance cameras to monitor snipers and infiltrators even before they mount an attack.



Memorial Ceremony For Victims Of 9/11 Held In Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — A memorial ceremony was held Thursday (6th) in Jerusalem for victims of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

The annual ceremony is hosted by Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund, Jewish National Fund – USA and the U.S. Embassy in Israel.

The ceremony held at the 9/11 Living Memorial Monument in the Ramot neighborhood took place prior to Sept. 11 because this year the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks falls on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

“In this beautiful  plaza, at this inspiring location, we remind the families of those lost and we confirm to people everywhere, that we stand together – Americans and Israelis – and that together we continue to heal and to build, in a spirit of solidarity and commitment to the future,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said at the ceremony.

Among those on hand for the ceremony were United Airline pilots, firefighters and police officers, and representatives from JNF-USA, along with Israeli families who lost loved ones in the attack, ambassadors and other diplomats.

The 9/11 Living Memorial Monument is the only one outside the United States to include all the names of the 9/11 victims.

The 30-foot-high bronze sculpture shows an American flag folded into the shape of a memorial flame.  A metal shard from the ruins of the Twin Towers is incorporated into the base of the monument.



City In Guatemala To Name All Streets After Israeli Cities And Communities – Caroline B. Glick

In an effort to strengthen its relations with Israel following Paraguay’s decision to move its embassy back to Tel Aviv, a city in Guatemala has passed a unanimous measure to name all the streets in the city after names of Israeli cities and communities.

Licenciado Hugo Sarceno, Mayor of Puerto Barrios, made the announcement while in Israel with a high-level delegation from the large Guatemalan city.

Sarceno explained that his port city’s support for Israel is Bible-based.

“We believe that everyone who helps the State of Israel will be blessed by God,” he said.  “We are great supporters of the State of Israel, we love the citizens of Israel and are interested in deep cooperation between our countries.  The connection isn’t just between governments, but between the people of our countries.”

The purpose of Sarceno’s trip is to strengthen relations with Israel and attract Israeli investment in infrastructure development, transportation systems, civil aviation, seaports, agriculture and science in Guatemala.

Sarceno met with Haim Bibas, Mayor of Modi’in Macabim Reut and head of Israel’s Center for Local Government, and presented Bibas with a key to Puerto Barrios.  The two agreed to hold a joint conference of Israeli and Guatemalan mayors in 2019.

Guatemala was the second government after the U.S. to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move its embassy to Jerusalem.