Posts Tagged ‘Bethlehem’
The great work by israeldailypicture.com has made this rare collection of Rachel’s Tomb photos available to the general public.
Tonight is the Yartzheit of Rachel Imeinu, the Matriarch Rachel.
Border Police officers blocked an axe-toting Arab from carrying out a terror attack near Jerusalem early Thursday morning.
Officers operating near the Palestinian Authority village of Beit Jala, close to Jerusalem, noticed an Arab man trying to hide an unusual object underneath his clothing, a spokesperson said.
The suspect, a 29-year-old resident of Bethlehem, was ordered to drop to the ground. When he did, an axe dropped to the ground along with him.
“The alertness and preparedness of the soldiers as well as their determination and readiness to engage [with the suspect] prevented a terrorist attack,” said the Border Police spokesperson.
Security personnel immediately arrested the suspect. During questioning he told investigators he was planning to travel to Jerusalem to attack an IDF soldier.
The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has sharply condemned the Israeli government’s decision Sunday to designate a lot in Gush Etzion as state land.
The decision came as a direct result of the kidnapping and murder by Hamas terrorists of three teenage yeshiva students on the site in early June.
The U.S. claimed the move would damage future final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
“We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” a Statement Department spokesman said. “This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue, is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians. We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision.”
In general, the U.S. has opposed Israeli development in Judea and Samaria, although most past administrations have ameliorated their concerns, depending on circumstance.
The 4,000-dunam lot is located adjacent to the Gush Etzion community of Alon Shevut, not far from bus stop and hitchhiking post where Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar were abducted by Hamas terrorists and then murdered on June 12. Their bodies were found three weeks later in Judea after a massive manhunt by thousands of IDF soldiers and security personnel, in a field owned by the Hebron-based Qawasme clan along Highway 60 between Hebron and Gush Etzion in the PA town of Halhul.
Prior to the designation, the Judea and Samaria civil administration had designated the status of the area — known as Geva’ot — as ‘survey land’ as ordered by the political establishment after the bodies of the three teens were recovered. The move froze the status of the area and prevented construction plans from moving through the system until a determination could be made about its future, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).
Geva’ot is not new. In 1982, an Israeli cabinet decision laid the groundwork for development of the area as an IDF Nahal community, which started in 1984 and then closed two years later. For the next 10 years the site became the home of the Shevut Yisrael Yeshiva, with small pre-fab homes. In 1998, The Gush Etzion Regional Council reached out to the government, requesting construction of a full-scale city on the site similar to Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim, Modi’il Illite and Beitar Illit. Plans began but two years later were dropped due to international diplomatic pressure. In 2008, once again the plans were picked up and moved forward in 2009, especially after the Annapolis Summit came to naught. By 2012, initial authorization for 523 homes was secured from the Defense Ministry — and there the project was frozen.
Gush Etzion is well within the area Israel is likely to retain in any final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.
The PA immediately responded that the site belongs to districts of two separate PA-controlled cities: Bethlehem and Hebron. Bethlehem is located across the road and is more than five and a half miles north. Hebron is the same distance, to the south.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, declared Sunday evening, “The settlement enterprise is illegal,” in a sweeping condemnation of every Jewish city, town and village built in Judea and Samaria, including any that might be built on the newly-designated state land. Nearly 400,000 Jews now live in Judea and Samaria.
He, too, said the move would “bring about a further deterioration” in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – which at this point includes Hamas in its unity government.
The PA has had to be repeatedly dragged to the negotiations table over the years, each time with ‘enticements’ and ‘good will gestures’ forced on Israel by the United States.
Two Border Guard security personnel were lightly wounded while trying to control a mob of some 600 Palestinian Authority Arabs rioting Friday afternoon near Rachel’s Tomb.
Three of the rioters were allegedly shot in the legs with rubber bullets, according to the Hebrew-language 0404.co.il website.
The rioters burned tires and hurled firebombs and rocks at the Border Guards, who at first used standard crowd control methods but then allegedly opened fire when all else failed.
Security personnel succeeded in dispersing most of the mob but about 100 of the hard-core rioters remained into the early evening hours.
Hamas terrorists in Gaza have urged Arabs in Israel to riot and attack Jews in as many ways as possible, to encourage a budding third intifada.
The tomb of the Jewish matriach, one of the holiest sites in Judaism, is located on the outskirts of Bethlehem, barely five minutes south of Jerusalem.
Due to Palestinian Arab violence, Israeli authorities were forced to build high, strong walls around the once-modest tomb, transforming it into a virtual fortress in order to protect the Jews who visit the site to pray.
Yesterday, one of our bloggers, Jameel@Muqata, asked the not so rhetorical question… should the IDF intercept a Hamas rocket that is going to their own citizens in Palestinian Authority controlled areas.
This evening, on Shabbat, at 6:57pm, multiple rockets were launched at the Gush Etzion area.
The IDF confirms that two Hamas rockets hit inside Palestinian Authority controlled cities.
One Hamas rocket hit in Bethlehem, the other in Hebron.
Hebron is a Hamas stronghold in Judea.
No reports yet if Abbas will file a complaint with the UN.
It’s the seventh night of desperate searching after an Israeli teen whispered to a police dispatcher, “We’re being kidnapped,” before his cell phone was cut off.
Dual Israeli-American citizen Naftali Frenkel, age 16, and his two friends, Gilad Sha’ar, 16 and Eyal Yifrach, 19, were kidnapped by terrorists last Thursday night as they hitchhiked home for the Sabbath from Gush Etzion.
Thousands of IDF soldiers were fanned out across Judea and Samaria, hunting for them and the terrorists who abducted them. There’s still been no news of their location or condition, and no clear idea of who took them. Constant prayer vigils by millions of Jews around the world continue at all hours of the day and night.
On Wednesday night, IDF troops ‘visited’ some 100 private homes and public institutions linked to the Hamas terrorist organization, mostly in the Hevron area, Israel public radio reported.
While looking for the missing boys, they were also out hunting for the terrorists who kidnapped them – and the rest of the Hamas members who may have assisted in some way.
And while they’re at it, they’re also hauling in those who were released early from Israeli jails in exchange for the freedom of former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. The former hostage was kidnapped in a cross-border raid near the Gaza border by a consortium of Hamas and other allied terrorists in 2006. Shalit was held captive by Hamas for five years — until Israel agreed to swap more than a thousand terrorist prisoners for his freedom.
Those who were released signed pledges agreeing to certain conditions before they were freed. Under the circumstances, however, Israel is now determined to re-incarcerate the many who intelligence services know have violated their agreements.
Within the past seven days, 53 of the ‘Shalit terrorists’ have been picked up so far. They will appear before a military judge, unless their sentence was handed down by a civilian court. If the violation is found to be valid, the terrorist will return to jail to serve the remainder of the original sentence. In many cases, that is life in prison.
These cases are included in some 300 Palestinian Authority unity government terrorists that were rounded up by IDF troops, nearly all of whom are members of Hamas. A few were Islamic Jihad terrorists as well.
Accomplishing “Operation Brother’s Keeper” is not easy; Israeli soldiers encounter “resistance” at each location. Rocks, bottles… and last night even two firebombs (Molotov cocktails) were hurled straight at them in Jenin when they entered the area to search and make arrests. There were similar clashes in Bethlehem and Birzeit. In one case Arabs attempted to run over IDF soldiers with a car; other troops returned fire and hit the vehicle before it fled the scene.
But the soldiers are clear about their mission and they are firm in their resolve, as are the Israeli Air Force pilots who fly their missions in retaliation for the rocket attacks fired at Israeli civilian populations.
Last night (Wednesday) pilots carried out air strikes against five Hamas terror targets in Gaza, including a concealed rocket launcher and two terrorist bases. Direct hits were confirmed and all personnel returned safely to base.
The strikes came in response to a missile attack on Ashkelon by Gaza terrorists earlier in the evening. One of the rockets hit a house (no one was home at the time) and damaged it. The second exploded in an open area, causing no damage. No injuries were reported in either attack.