In a question-and-answer session in the Knesset this week, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman Addressed a question by MK Abd Al Hakeem Haj Yahya (Joint Arab List) about the conditions at checkpoints in Judea and Samaria, Liberman said “What’s happening at checkpoints is unreasonable, and there is no doubt it harms our security.”
“There are three authorities that deal with this issue — the Airports Authority, Defense Ministry and Public Security Ministry, and this creates a complicated chaos,” Liberman explained.
Liberman expressed his hope that the matter will be taken care of in next year’s budget, “to improve things from every perspective – security and humanitarian.”
Liberman was asked by MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Camp) about the reconciliation agreement with Turkey and whether it constitutes recognition of the Hamas’ regime in Gaza. “Our starting point must be Egypt,” the defense minister said. “It is our most important, serious ally in the Middle East. How will it affect our relations with Egypt? Personally, I’ve invested a lot of effort in building relations of trust and cooperation [with Egypt]. There are many other considerations here which we must take into account.”
MK Orly Levi-Abekasis asked Liberman why IDF soldiers who became disabled during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge have yet to receive the benefits they deserve. “There is an absolute commitment to this issue, and those who are dealing with it are doing so with dedication. It has been examined in the various committees, and as a minister I have to trust those professional echelons. The disabled themselves are part of the formulation of those benefits. Intense debates are being held in order to improve their situation,” Liberman answered.
MK Masud Ganaim (Joint Arab List) asked the defense minister about his summoning of Army Radio commander Yaron Dekel regarding a program on Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish which was aired by the station. “It is okay to air an episode on Darwish, but in the framework of ‘know your enemy,’ together with the mufti and Goebbels,” Liberman retorted.
Asked by MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) about his decision to revoke the entry permit to Israel of senior Palestinian Authority official Mohammed al-Madani, Liberman said, “Part of the tradition in the Palestinian Authority is that the same people who at nighttime deal with harming Israel and worked hard to annihilate the State of Israel, during the daytime speak a lot about brotherhood among the nations, peace, and so forth.”
The minister noted that he cannot make such a decision alone. “There is the opinion of the Shin Bet (General Security Service) and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. They are certainly not political people. Only after they tell me in writing that they strongly suggest [a permit be revoked] do I perform the formal act.”
Al-Madani, the minister said, “is not an innocent person who thinks about brotherhood and peace between Jews and Arabs.”
“Questions Hour” is a new parliamentary feature in the Knesset’s plenary sessions. Each year, the opposition has the right to invite 10 ministers to answer questions they did not see in advance. One of those times, it can be the prime minister. At least three-quarters of the questioners must come from the ranks of the opposition.
In a message of greeting to the heads of state of the Arab League assembling in Nouakchott, Mauritania on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow considers the existing status quo on Palestine unacceptable and called for re-launching the negotiation process, TASS reported.
“We also intend to continue to provide all possible assistance in resolving the Palestinian problem acting through both the bilateral channels and within various multilateral formats,” Putin said, adding, “We believe the existing status quo is unacceptable and favor creating the conditions for the speedy re-launching of the negotiation process that will be aimed at creating an independent, viable and integral Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem peacefully coexisting with its neighbors.”
The annual Arab League summit’s agenda includes combating terrorism and the ongoing civil wars in Libya and Syria. Political analyst Youssef Cherif told Daily News Egypt that the Arab League is having one of its weakest meetings ever, since so many of its member nations are facing internal turmoil. The Moroccan delegation is boycotting the summit, saying the reason for its withdrawal is that “in an absence of decisions and concrete initiatives, this summit will be a mere gathering for speeches that imply fake unity among Arab countries.”
Only nine Arab heads of state are attending the summit—13 heads of states said they will not be able to come. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will not be at the summit and Egypt will be represented by Prime Minister Sherif Ismai.
Nevertheless, President Putin urged the Arab League states to fight against terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and other tense areas. “Russia is ready to strengthen in every possible way its interaction with the Arab League in ensuring regional security, first and foremost, in the struggle against the threat of international terrorism,” Putin said in his address to the summit.
Haled Abu Mokh, an Israeli Muslim Arab, was attacked by other Arabs last week for posting a profile picture with Israel’s flag on Facebook. Haled, who works in a Jerusalem hotel, was caught by a fellow Arab worker surfing to his Facebook page, and the other man started cursing him out and threatening him. By the end of that day’s shift, that same worker followed Haled on the street and threw a stone on his head. Haled dropped to the ground and was later evacuated to hospital, where he received several stitches. He’s still suffering from dizziness.
Haled was a guest on Israel’s Channel 20 TV, where he told the host, Rinat Spivak, that he is used to these reactions: “These responses, it’s normal, wherever there are such extremist Arabs, but they won’t break me.”
“Why should I be afraid,” he answered the host’s next question. “We shouldn’t be afraid of them, they should fear me, not me of them. I walk the true path. This is the truth. I was born here, I opened my eyes here and saw the national flag. There was no Palestinian flag where I was born. The Star of David, that’s me, that’s how my mother raised me.”
Haled also made clear that “no one will shut me up! This only strengthened my resolve to love this wonderful country, and I’m not alone. There are other Arabs in this country who aren’t ready to live in fear. It’s a pity that there are some people who don’t understand what democracy is, and they live in a violent and barbaric reality. What kind of future are they going to have?”
A group of anti-Israel Jewish activists arrived in Hebron to award the city its first movie theater. But in the process, according to local Jewish residents, they destroyed the grazing grounds of a local Arab shepherd.
According to a JTA report by Andrew Tobin, dozens of American Jews spent Friday in Hebron “practicing nonviolent resistance against Israel’s presence,” singing “The World is Built with Loving Kindness” in English and Hebrew, clearing scrap metal, weeds and debris from a dirt lot with several low-slung cement structures, singing Jewish and protest songs, and passing around bags of popcorn labeled “Cinema Hebron” below a “triumphant” sign that read “Cinema Hebron: Coming Soon.” Indeed, the mission last Friday was to endow Hebron its “first Palestinian movie theater.”
Eventually, soldiers and police officers demanded that the activists leave the area, and when said activists sat on the ground, locked arms and sang “Lo Yisa Goy el Goy Herev,” they were pulled up one by one and removed. The Israelis in the group were detained, the Americans were let go (which was their strategy). Around 2 PM the American activists left the Israelis behind bars and proceeded to have a much deserved lunch.
There are many things wrong with the above two paragraphs, and we encourage you to read the entire JTA report to better appreciate our story (Peter Beinart joins US Jews for civil rights-style protest in West Bank). We spoke to Tzipi Shlisel, who is actually quoted by Tobin in his story, where he uses her as the obligatory reactionary settler’s counter-view: “[The activists] think they’re doing a good thing, but they’re really helping the terrorists,” and, “I’ll tell you, in the Holocaust, Jewish people helped Hitler, too.”
Tzipi Shlisel’s father, Shlomo Ra’anan HY”D, was stabbed to death by a local Arab back in 1998, the year when then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu handed over most of Hebron to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat. Shlisel recalls it was a scene similar to the devastating stabbing of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel, in Kiryat Arba two weeks ago.
But Tzipi Shlisel contacted JewishPress.com not because Tobin’s report treated her father’s murder with less empathy than it did the activists’ lunch, or Because Tobin used her as a necessary color stain on his canvas describing brave Jewish activists defying Israeli occupation with action and song. Tzipi Shlisel insists Tobin’s report is partial, and that he missed out on a wealth of historic and cultural information, including the fact that the area the Jewish activists weeded so energetically was prized for its weed by a local Arab shepherd.
The lands in question are in Tel Rumeida (biblical Hebron according to some authorities) which were purchased by the Hebron Jewish community 200 years ago, the first one in 1811, the second in 1816. During the 1949-67 Jordanian occupation, the Abu Aisha clan took over some of those lands. The neighborhood of Admot Yishai was built on a small part of this land, which is otherwise known as the Tel Remeida settlement, over which the Arabs are fighting the Jewish community. “But we have aerial photographs of the entire area, including the ancient olive trees which were purchased along with the land, as is noted in the purchase documents, and these lands all belong to the Jewish community,” Shlisel insists.
Near the neighborhood there’s an area where the army built a bunker behind which there is a copper factory which was shut down for environmental reasons more than 30 years ago. “It generated crazy air pollution, Jews, Arabs, no one could breathe,” Shlisel recalls.
“Eighteen years ago, after my father was stabbed to death by an Arab, the IDF created check points for the Arab traffic near our neighborhoods, and the area around the inactive copper factory is off-limits to Arabs.”
Hebron is divided into the H1 and H2 zones. H1 compromises 80% of Hebron, and Jews are forbidden to go there. The Arabs, on the other hand, can move freely in much of H2.
“Now, when the activists arrived with their tremendous singing, they cleaned up the area thoroughly, it was truly amazing, but the local Arab, a member of the Abu Aisha clan, who’s been claiming that these are his lands, and even says they are registered as his with the city of Hebron, was not consulted.
“Later, a police officer told me there was a military order (tzav aluf — lit. decree issued by a General) to evacuate the activists and that the Arab had filed a complaint with local police,” Shlisel said.
JewishPress.com contacted the local Hebron police station chief who said there had been no complaint filed. But a different source in the Hebron community who asked to remain anonymous told the JewishPress.com that the leftwing activists, one of whom was a former Tanzim activist from the Abu Aisha clan, convinced the Arab shepherd not to file a complaint. The fact is police and IDF soldiers did show up to remove the activists, and the Arab is seen asking police to chase away the American invaders.
In any event, in the video, shot by Shlisel for TPS, the Arab is telling police, “Yalla, take them from here … these are my lands …”
“I heard the same Arab complaining that they pulled out his grazing weed from the ground, that he owns a herd which he keeps in Dura village, and the old factory is one of the area where his goats graze. Those peace activists did a cleanup job on his source of livelihood. They raked and tore up the weeds, and from a Western culture point of view they did a fantastic job, but from this Arab’s point of view they destroyed his grazing field,” Shlisel said.
Responding to an inquiry JewishPress.com emailed Peter Beinart, Sharon Rose Goldtzvik of “Uprise – communications consulting for good guys,” wrote back:
The report you received is incorrect. Early in the day, Israeli police questioned Mr. Abu Aisha’s ownership of the land, and Mr. Abu Aisha quickly produced documents proving that he is indeed the owner. The police then dropped the claim. The “local Arab farmer” you reference was never named and was not present; in fact, there is no evidence that such a complaint was ever filed. Again, Mr. Abu Aisha was able to quickly prove that he owns the property and police recognized his rightful ownership. The IDF later returned with a “closed military zone” order; this was the basis for removing the activists.
I should also mention that the property was a relatively small plot consisting of a couple of cement and cinder block buildings, and a lot of debris. It could not have been used for animal grazing. I don’t know who reported otherwise.
But as can be heard on the video, Abu Aisha is clearly asking police to remove the activists, and says that he often grazes his animals there (watch the last half of the tape, shot by Shlisel for TPS, starting sec. 23).
As to the idea of “Cinema Hebron” (the name of the city in Arabic is Al-Khalil, meaning “friend,” after Abraham who was the friend of God, while Hebron is the colonialist-Zionist name used by the occupiers) Hebron is probably the most conservative religious Muslim city in all of Israel, where men and women are completely segregated, where Hamas rules, and where the very idea of attending a movie, never mind opening a movie theater, could get a man flogged.
That these American “liberators” would be so ignorant of the cultural and religious values of the people they have come to set free with song and hard weeding is possibly the funniest, even hallucinatory, idea of all.
“Which is why the only place where they could advocate having a movie theater in all of Hebron was near the Jewish neighborhoods, where at least no one would stone the living daylights out of them for their insolence, Tzipi Shlisel said, adding, “These human rights group who say they want to help the Arabs are actually ignorant of who these Arabs are. They step on their culture, trampling their values, with great glee and with a loud song on their lips.”
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Affairs and Security in Judea and Samaria, headed by MK Mordhay Yogev (HaBayit HaYehudi), on Monday discussed the problems of water supplies to Judea and Samaria.
“The authorities have ‘dried up’ the residents of Judea and Samaria – Jews and Arabs alike,” Yogev said at the opening of the meeting. “This committee deals with various infrastructure-related issues, but water is the most basic and important of them all, particularly when we’ve reached a point where there is a shortage of drinking water. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the Water Authority have known for many years what needs to be done, but it has yet to be done. We must assume all the powers, initiate a ‘defensive shield’ of infrastructures and urgently implement a master plan to supply water to the population.”
According to data presented to the committee by Mekorot, the national water company of Israel is capable of supplying some 11.22 million gallons of water to the region daily, but the demand is for 12.76 to 13.2 million gallons daily; meaning, there is a daily water shortage of 1.5 to 1.98 million gallons. As a result, Mekorot has been forced to adjust its supply of water to the region and reduce the supply to each community, be it Jewish or Arab, by 15%.
The committee was also informed that some 1.1 Million gallons of water are stolen each day in Judea and Samaria through illegal connections to the area’s water infrastructure.
Yigal Lahav, head of Karnei Shomron Local Council, said, “For the past two years we have been receiving messages from Mekorot each morning telling us that there is no water in the pipes, and we have turned to all the relevant authorities. ‘Surprisingly,’ summer has arrived, the population is growing, and it is only getting warmer. This matter must be dealt with urgently and seriously.”
Water Authority Director Alex Kushnir said, “We must fight the thefts aggressively, as they are a major cause of the current crisis. To date, no indictments have been filed against water thieves. Force majeure is also at play in this crisis, because two projects which could potentially add more than 2.2 million gallons of water a day have been delayed. These projects would have resolved the current situation.”
“We took it upon ourselves to try and promote a master plan, though there is no statutory element which can currently provide a real forecast for population growth,” Kushnir noted. “The Water Authority does not have the power to give instructions beyond the Green Line, and I cannot force the Palestinians to convene the joint committee [on water], but I did meet with the Palestinian water minister, and he gave me information regarding their needs.”
MK Avi Dichter (Likud), chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, asked the government representatives who are responsible for the current situation and who is authorized to make decisions on the matter, and when he did not receive an answer, MK Yogev said that “the responsibility lies with the Minister of National Infrastructures and the Defense Minister, and from them down to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.”
Brigadier General Guy Goldstein, deputy Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, said, “We operate only in accordance with the government’s instructions. There needs to be a diplomatic decision for the entire region that will make it clear to the Water Authority how to plan and provide solutions.”
Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, said, “My residents should not care that the State of Israel does not have the guts to stand up to the Palestinian Authority, which is not convening the joint water committee. The state must provide a solution for all our residents, in any way possible.”
One of the medics who treated the woman was Ofer Ohana. Ohana was on his way to court to provide testimony for the soldier in Hebron who killed the downed terrorist. Ohana was the medic on site after the Hebron terror attack.
The woman has been transported to Sharei Tzedek hospital. She’s listed in lightly wounded condition with injuries to her face.
1. Hallel Yafa Ariel, 13 and a half years old, was on summer vacation, having just finished the 8th grade.
2. Hallel was related to Israeli Minister Uri Ariel.
3. The terrorist-murderer was 17 years old, Muhammad Taraiyre, from the village of Bani Naim. He climbed the fence at 8:44 AM, was spotted by security cameras, but made his way quickly to the Ariel house and murdered Hallel Yafa by stabbing her dozens of times while she was asleep in her bed.
4. The terrorist was neutralized by a member of the civilian Rapid Response Team. Another member of the team, Yehoshua Gilboa, was severely injured. The determination and drive of the RRT stopped this terror event from spreading any further.
5. The funeral will begin at the family’s home in Ramat Mamre “Kharsina” neighborhood of Kiryat Arba. The procession will conclude at the Ancient Jewish Cemetery in Hebron where the burial will take place. The funeral is expected to draw Ministers, Knesset Members, Rabbis and other spiritual and cultural leaders.
6. The Jewish Community of Hebron puts the blame for this murder squarely on the heads of the Palestinian Authority. The Jewish Community of Hebron calls on the State of Israel to cease supporting the PA and Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the murderous organization behind the incitement and today’s barbaric act. The PA was created by the State of Israel under the Oslo Accords, and continues to survive daily only due to the support of the State of Israel. It is ridiculous to support this Jihadist monster and then accuse it of terrorism.
8. The local Arab population works in Kiryat Arba without any sense of discrimination. Even thirty minutes after the murder, Arabs were seen working in the town unhindered. Our fight is not with the Arabs, but with the Jihad — a supremacist ideology.
9. This morning Rina Ariel, the mother of the victim, spoke at the hospital, saying, “My daughter was simply asleep, calm and serene, she was happy, and a terrorist came to her bed, in Kiryat Arba, and killed her… I want everyone to see our pain and to come console us. Hallel, may your memory be a blessing.”