On Thursday evening, the IDF caught two Arab terrorists that had earlier in the evening thrown multiple fire bombs at buses and cars near Beit El.
Posts Tagged ‘Beit El’
Residents of the “Nof” neighborhood of Beit El found themselves under a barrage of stones this evening as they were outside building their Sukkahs.
The Arab assailants were very surprised to discover that these Beit El residents weren’t very passive when it came to responding to the Arab attacks. The Beit El residents quickly reacted, damaging the vehicles of the assailants.
In other stone throwing incidents today, Arabs threw a rock into an oncoming car near Ramallah. There were no injuries in that attack.
There were also quite a number of other stone throwing incidents today near Hebron, Afikim, Itamar, Efrat, Beit El, Mevoh Dotan, El Hadr, and along Road 60. Vehicles were damaged in some of the attacks.
Reports for HaKol Hayudi were used in this report.
Terrorists threw a firebomb over the fence and into the town of Beit El Tuesday afternoon, igniting a large fire.
Three fire crews were called in to extinguish the fire. None of the homes in the David neighborhood are in danger.
The security fence was heavily damaged.
Yesterday, Arabs lit a fire in Atarot (North Jerusalem) and then attacked the fire crew that came to put it out. The fire crew was extricated from the attack by Border Police who used live fire.
The Israeli government has announced a new step in plans to build 300 new homes in Beit El, in northern Samaria, just as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to convince Mahmoud Abbas to return to talks if Israel slaps a freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria.
Reports from Israeli sources earlier this week stated that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has buckled under pressure from Kerry, and probably President Barack Obama, to freeze construction to bring Abbas back to the so-called negotiating table.
“Negotiations” in Arab Doublespeak means that Israel must accept Palestinian Authority territorial and political demands or they will be forced down its throat, either by the United Nations or by “resistance,” another Doublespeak word, which means terror.
No government official has denied the reports of a “de facto” building freeze, and Prime Minister Netanyahu is conveniently in China.
Kerry hosted the government’s unofficial Minister for the Peace Process, Tzipi Livni, in Washington last week and continued discussions with her in Rome this week, where he said he will return to Israel in two weeks.
Journalists covering the State Department asked why he is returning after having been here last month, but the reports of the unofficial freeze provide the obvious answer.
But smack in the middle of Kerry’s Big Momentum – run as fast as you can with the ball so that everyone is too dazzled to see that the ball is a bomb – the government announced the next step for building 296 more homes in Beit El.
The town is not just another community in Samaria. More than 6.000 national religious Jews live there. Beit El is a symbol of the national religious movement in Judea and Samaria. A yeshiva bearing the town’s Biblical name has wide influence across the country. It is home to two of the most prominent national religious rabbis in Israel, Rabbi Zalman Melamed, head of Yeshiva Beit El, and Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, who is widely respected and consulted by many Jews who are not part of the “club.”
After the announcement of the preliminary approval of the homes, the Palestinian Authority immediately said everyone can forget about trying to dig up the bones of the peace process.
As with almost every announcement of building new homes, the one in Beit El refers only to one of several bureaucratic steps before the bulldozers can start digging, not less than a year from now.
Israel has been through this time after time, the most famous incident being the announcement of another bureaucratic stage having been completed for building homes in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinian Authority.
The news broke just as Vice President Joe Biden was landing in Israel, causing high tension between Jerusalem and Washington for a long time.
Coincidental or not with Kerry’s dream for resumed direct talks between Netanyahu and Abbas, the Beit El housing project proves that Israel is trying to “sabotage” Kerry’s efforts, according to senior PA negotiator Saeb Erekat.
“We condemn this new decision which is proof that the Israeli government wants to sabotage and ruin the US administration’s efforts to revive the peace process,” he said. “This is a message to the American administration and a blow to the peace process. This aims to drag the region into violence instead of peace and stability.”
Erekat did not even have the diplomacy to say “resistance.”
It is out-and-out violence, and obviously Kerry would blame Israel if the Arabs kill more Jews. Otherwise he would have to go back on his statement earlier this year that the proof that Abbas is such a great peace partner can be found in the fact that not even one Jew was murdered by Palestinian Authority terrorists in 2012.
What about 2011? Well, that is history. Let’s look at the present and not the past and talk peace.
And what about the present the year 2013? Uh, yeah, well, sure, a Palestinian Authority terrorist stabbed to death a father of five, but that was an isolated incident, and after all, the murderer was not a member of a known terrorist gang.
Kerry does not have to defend himself. He has Livni to do that for him. Both of them desperately need a peace agreement, Kerry because he wants to be president and Livni because she needs something to justify her being politically alive. The latest polls shows that her party would win zero seats in if elections were held today.
The stabbing murder of Eviatar Borowski at Tapuach junction in Samaria has brought to a head the bitter relationship between local Jewish residents and the head of the IDF Central Command Major General Nitzan Alon. The Jewish residents blame Maj. Gen. Alon’s policy of containing Arab violence combined with zero tolerance of suspected Jewish violence for the deterioration of security under his command.
According to Hakol Hayehudi, many residents and public officials in Judea and Samaria have been calling recently for the dismissal of Maj. Gen. Alon, because of the worst security situation in the area since Operation Defensive Shield a decade ago.
Eviatar Borowski’s widow also published a letter saying Alon is “heartless” and calling for his dismissal.
Maj. Gen. Alon’s ties with Israel’s extreme left are considered among the strongest in the IDF top echelon. His wife, Mor Alon, is a known supporter of “Machsom Watch” which documents the activities of IDF soldiers at checkpoints in Judea and Samaria.
For some reason, the leaders of the town of Beit El picked a time when public uproar against Alon is gaining momentum to embrace the IDF commander and invite him to be the guest of honor in the main event of Jerusalem Day, at a local synagogue.
The invitation, sent out before the murder, dismayed many local residents. But in recent days the grumbling has grown into loud protest, and on Sunday residents hung fliers around town protesting Alon’s invitation.
“Inviting someone like Nitzan Alon to the town of Beit El of all places, and on the day of the liberation of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, is an insult to a substantial portion of the population,” the flyer, distributed to community mailboxes, declared. “We ask that you act to revoke his participation as a guest of honor at the prayer ceremony.”
The flyer contains outrageous quotes by Alon, like his statement after the murder of the Fogel family, when he said it was “a price tag price tag,” referring to the campaign by some Jews to impose a cost in loss of property to Arab hostilities.
It appears that the protest, which was joined by many Beit El residents, including public figures and rabbis, left an impression. On Sunday, the Beit El leadership informed Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon that he was no longer welcome.
Construction of ninety new apartments in Beit El has been given approval by the Ministry of Defense.
The construction is part of the 300 apartment compensation plan for Beit El following the evacuation of the Givat Ulpana neighborhood.
As tenders have already begin to be issued, construction could begin in just a few months time.
What is the source of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s apparent scorn for the religious, Land of Israel-faithful public in Israel?
Over the years, starting from his first term as prime minister in 1996-99, and certainly since he was elected again three years ago, Netanyahu has mastered the art of showing friendship and warmth to the religious-Zionist community while keeping them at arm’s length politically. Though the moderate Jewish Home party was invited to join his coalition government, its influence is limited, as it has only three Knesset seats, the minimum permitted. Its counterpart, the less compromising National Union, was originally courted by Netanyahu but he never actually offered it a place in the government; many felt this was his plan from the outset.
In terms of facts on the ground, under Netanyahu a ten-month construction freeze was imposed on the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria (Yesha); unofficially, it lasted even longer in many places. Not only that, but five apartment buildings in the thriving Givat HaUlpena neighborhood in Beit El were allowed to be dismantled, as was Migron nearby, and Givat Assaf and Amona are still on the chopping block.
But the blow Netanyahu dealt the residents of Yesha just this week possibly smarts the most of all. He decided, at least for now, to accept the ambivalent counsel of his Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein, and not adopt the Levy Report. This, even though elections are coming, at which times incumbent candidates generally try to find favor with their natural constituencies.
What is the Levy Report, and what did Weinstein recommend? The report, prepared by a special commission headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, finds that Yesha is not “occupied” but is essentially Israeli. It similarly concludes that the outposts therein are not illegal under international law, and that Israel can and should legalize them as soon as possible.
Official government acceptance of the Levy Report would mean removal of the various bureaucratic and political obstacles that have rendered Jewish construction in Yesha so difficult over the years. Even more fundamentally, an Israeli government decision to this effect tells the Jewish and international communities in a very straightforward manner: “This is our land!”
The Levy Commission explains that Yesha, together with most of the rest of Israel, was assigned to the Jewish people back in 1920 by the leading powers of the time at the San Remo Conference, and later, by the League of Nations. After the 1948 War of Independence, Jordan “annexed” Yesha, but no one other than Pakistan and Great Britain recognized it. The 1967 Six-Day War enabled Israel to return to what had been legally granted the Jewish people 47 years earlier – such as Jerusalem suburbs Ramat Eshkol, Gilo, Ramat Eshkol, and the Old City.
Though the Arabs continue to term these Jerusalem neighborhoods “illegal settlements,” the Levy Report makes quite clear that these areas were never Jordanian but were allocated to the Jewish people. It also belies the false claim that Israel is in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention by building and settling Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. The Convention, from 1949, details rules and guidelines for “occupied territories” – which Yesha is not, since it was not captured from its legal sovereign. In any event, the report states, the term “occupation” cannot apply to such a long period as 45 years, with no end in sight.
Netanyahu was said to be considering adopting merely the report’s conclusions but not the ceremonial declarations that Yesha is Israel’s, etc. The Land of Israel camp was gearing up to try to stomach this position, but then along came Attorney General Weinstein. In his letter to Netanyahu, he stated that with elections approaching, the government must “moderate its governmental activities.” Netanyahu jumped to interpret this as a ban on adopting the Levi Report altogether.
However, Weinstein’s letter actually does not come close to outlawing the report. For one thing, the current government was not toppled and did not lose its Knesset majority, and therefore it retains its mandate to govern as it sees fit.
In addition, a decision to adopt the Levi Report is by no means a “pre-election grab,” as the report has been on the public agenda since it was submitted three months ago.
Several Likud cabinet ministers, including Yisrael Katz, Silvan Shalom, and Limor Livnat, have gone on record in support of the Levi Report. Just this past Monday evening, mayors and activists from Yesha held a major meeting, demanding that the government fully adopt the Levi Report.
It remains to be seen whether the pressure will work – or if Netanyahu will continue to toy with the Land of Israel faithful, confident that once again many of them will work tirelessly for his reelection under the assumption that he is the least of the evils.
In addition to visiting Yerushalayim, there are many other ways readers can become effective advocates for keeping Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty. For information on bus tours in news-making areas of Jerusalem, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech website at www.keepjerusalem.org.
Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel’s minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel, past senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7, is a veteran writer on Jerusalem affairs. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.