September 26, 2018

Incendiary Balloons Cause Over A Dozen Fires Over Sukkot

On Monday (24th), the first day of Sukkot, at least 12 fires were caused by incendiary balloons in the Kissufim, Be’eri and Simhoni Forests as well as in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, The Jewish National Fund reported.

Keren Kayemeth Leisrael (KKL) and the Jewish National Fund worked with firefighters and volunteers from Kibbutzim to put out the fires.

Many sightings of incendiary balloons were in the area, a cluster of which reached the Kissufim Forest with an explosive device attached to it. The device hit the ground and detonated.  No injuries were reported.

On Monday evening (24th), A Palestinian man was killed and at least 90 were wounded in protests near the Gaza Strip border, the Hamas-run Gaza Health ministry said.

The Israeli military said thousands of Palestinians rioted on beaches near the border in the north of the coastal enclave, while Palestinian vessels staged a “riot at sea” close to the maritime border.

The military said soldiers “attempted to stop the vessels from approaching by firing into the air in accordance with standard operating procedures.”

Hamas official, Abu Zuhri, said that the Hamas terror group had decided to escalate its protests in new locations along the Gaza border with Israel Monday (24th).

As a result of the escalation more than a thousand Gazans gathered at the border for a rare night-time protest, burning tires and clashing with IDF troops.



US Warns Russia: Selling Syria S-300 Defense System a ‘major mistake’

According to the Hebrew website Walla, on Monday, (24th) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who informed the prime minister of the sale to Syria of the advanced S-300 air defense system.  Putin said he rejected Israel’s claim that Syrian defenses accidently shot down the Russian plane last week.

The New York Times reported that the Trump administration called the sale a “major mistake,” with National Security Adviser John Bolton describing it as a “significant escalation.”

Israel’s Channel 2 quoted Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov saying that ongoing Israeli airstrikes are harming relations between Israel and Russia, and that Russia’s response to the downing of the plane was intended to “increase the security” of Russian soldiers in Syria.

Israeli analyst Amir Bohbot wrote on Sunday (23rd) that Russia is exploiting the incident in order to “impose new rules of the game” in Syria to shore up Putin’s prestige, which has been damaged by ongoing Israeli airstrikes against Iranian targets in the war-torn country.

“Netanyahu,” wrote Bohbot, “will be required to fight not only for Israel’s honor but for the freedom of action of the Israeli Air Force and the ability to stand up for its security interests.   Any result other than maintaining the IDF’s freedom of action will be considered a failure.”



Security Cabinet To Convene Over Relations With Russia

The Israeli Security Cabinet will convene on Tuesday (25th) at the Prime Minister’s Office amid the raised tensions between Israel and Russia following Moscow’s announcement that it will supply an S-300 anti-missile system to Syria within two weeks.

Russia’s announcement comes a day after its defense ministry presented the findings of its investigation into the downing of the reconnaissance plane which concluded that Israel bears responsibility for the aircraft’s loss that killed 15 crewmen.

During the one-hour Security Cabinet meeting, ministers will be updated on recent developments.

Shortly after, Prime Minister Netanyahu will depart for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.

On Monday (24th), Netanyahu told Putin by phone that “transferring advanced weapons systems into irresponsible hands will increase the dangers in the region,” adding “Israel will continue to defend its security and its interests,” according to a statement released by the Government Press Office.



Israeli Official: PM And Egypt’s Sissi To Meet On UN Sidelines In New York

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week, a senior Israeli official told Reuters Monday (24th).

According to Akhbar el-Yom, Sissi is expected to tell the Israeli leader that a two-state solution should be part of any future US peace agreement and that the plan should include the principles that were part of previous negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Channel 10 news reported.

Sissi is also likely to raise the same issues with US President Donald Trump during their expected meeting.

Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas is predicted to use his speech to the UN Thursday (26th) to urge the international community to either save the two-state solution or take responsibility for its demise and “burial,” unnamed Palestinian sources told London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat Friday (21st).

On Sunday (23rd), the London-based al-Hayat reported Egypt has proposed a new framework for Palestinian reconciliation and an Israel-Hamas truce that would include an Israeli message to Hamas calling on the terror group to end its weekly protests at the Israel-Gaza fence and maintain a 500-meter no-go area near the border.

The plan would see control of Gaza revert to the Palestinian Authority, which lost the enclave to Hamas in a violent coup in 2007.

However, Egypt has brokered deals before to bring Hamas and Fatah together in reconciliation, but both rivals have consistently failed to implement an agreement.



Over $1 Million Raised Online For Family Of Ari Fuld

Donors from around the world have raised over $1 million for the family of Ari Fuld, an American-Israeli father of four who was stabbed to death by a terrorist in the West Bank last week.  Nearly 10,000 people have donated to the fund.

The online fundraising GoFundMe page describes Fuld as a “fallen lion” and says that all the money will go directly to the family, before adding that “Ari did so much for Israel, we would like to do something for him.”

Fuld, 45, was killed outside the Harim Mall at the Etzion junction in the West Bank, south of Jerusalem.  A resident of the nearby Efrat settlement, he managed to chase down and shoot his assailant before collapsing.

The murderer was named as 17-year-old Khalil Jabarin of Yatta, near Hebron.  He was moderately wounded after being shot and taken to an Israeli hospital.

Fuld was a well-known Israel advocate.  His killing pierced the community of pro-Israel advocacy, and activists recalled him as a dogged supporter of the Jewish state.  The killing also brought widespread condemnation from across the political sphere, including from those on the left who he often sparred with online or on television.

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said “Ari was a moral person, a lover of the land, and a devoted father of four.  May God avenge him.”