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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gilad Erdan’

Policeman Killed, Arab MK Injured in Clashes over Demolition of Illegal Construction

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Policeman Sergeant Major Erez Levi, 34, was killed by a Bedouin terrorist, and MK Ayman Odeh (Joint Arab List) sustained a light head injury in Wednesday morning clashes at the Umm al-Hiran is a Bedouin village in the Wadi Atir area of the Negev desert in southern Israel. The clashes resulted from efforts by the Israel Lands Administration to apply demolition orders and eviction notices against local residents. A large group of rioters threw rocks at police as they entered the village.

According to Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), as reported by News 0404, “A terrorist belonging to the Islamic movement sped at our forces aiming to kill as many police as he could even before the eviction had begun.”

The terrorist was shot dead.

“This was a difficult even for our forces and for the entire country,” Erdan said.

Rightwing NGO Regavim issued a statement saying, “The murder of a […] this morning during evacuations of illegal construction in the Negev was the result of incitement by extremist Islamic entities, Joint Arab List MKs, and extreme leftwing NGOs who daily incite against the rule of law in the Negev.”

“Those entities sat by the wheel of the terrorist murderer and brought about the bloody outcome,” Regavim accused.

Established in 1956, Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran is one of an estimated 46 unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel (the exact number is unknown). The unrecognized villages were built without official permission and are therefore ineligible for connection to the electrical grid and water mains, or for trash-pickup, and they cannot elect municipal government representatives. They are scattered all over the northern Negev, often uncomfortably close to military fire zones, nature reserves, and landfills.

According to the Israel Land Administration, some 40% of the Negev Bedouin live “in illegal homes spread over hundreds of thousands of [acres].”

Minister Erdan expressed his hope “that today will not mark a turn for the worse in the Bedouin’s relationship with state authorities, although MK Odeh has contributed greatly to such a turn.” He added, “There’s a supreme Court ruling and it will be carried out, in Umm al-Hiran, too. Police have no influence on the decision-making regarding this assignment, which is how things are run in a democratic country.”

MK Ayman Odeh was wounded lightly in his head, and told reporters he was hit by rubber bullets, but a police spokeswoman denied the charge, saying Israel Police do not use rubber bullets at all. It appears that the MK was injured by a rock that was thrown by one of the rioters. According to the Joint Arab List, he was sprayed with tear gas by police. Odeh persisted in blaming the “thousand policemen” he said had converged on Umm al-Hiran Wednesday morning for the violent outcome, claiming the residents had been negotiating with the authorities their compliance with the court’s ruling when police suddenly showed up.

Odeh and Chairman of the Monitoring Committee of Israeli Arabs Mohammed Barakeh blamed Prime Minister Netanyahu for being the ultimate source of the recent police efforts to uproot illegal Arab construction. “He is setting fires because of his own troubles,” Odeh told Ha’aretz, referring to police investigation of corruption allegations against the PM.

David Israel

‘Facebook Law’ Passes Knesset Preliminary Vote

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

The Knesset early Tuesday morning passed in a preliminary vote a bill calling for the removal of criminal content from the Internet. The vote was 36 for, 2 against. The bill will now move to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee for amendments in preparation for a second and third plenum vote.

The bill proposes to authorize the Administrative Court to issue, on behalf of a plaintiff, an order to remove content from the Internet in cases where there exist two cumulative conditions: one, that publishing the content constitutes a criminal offense; and two, that there exists a real possibility that publishing the content would harm the safety of an individual, the public, or the state.

The bill includes instructions and limits to prevent excessive harm to the freedom of expression, and to permit efficient action by law enforcement.

The bill enables an Administrative Court judge to issue an order to Internet service providers such as Facebook, upon the state’s request, to remove online inciting content.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) said, following the vote: “I am happy to proceed in promoting such an important law in the fight against incitement online whose consequences a destructive and dangerous.”

“Cooperation with the social networks will help reduce the number of inciting messages that are posted daily online, and deliver a clear message that we will not tolerate calls for violence, even if they are ‘only’ written with keyboards and appear ‘only’ on screens. This is because a single word is liable to turn life into death,” Shaked said.

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) said that “despite the fact that incitement leads to terrorism, Facebook and Internet providers still do not oblige all police requests to remove inciting content, and sometimes it takes a very long time to remove the inciting content. It makes the new law a necessity, giving us the tools to act immediately to remove content which might lead to acts of terrorism and murder.”

David Israel

Arab MK Gives Up Immunity as Police Reveal How He Got Caught

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) on Wednesday sent the Knesset Committee a letter announcing he was giving up his lawmaker’s immunity from searches and prosecution. The Nazareth born, Christian Ghattas acted following a unanimous vote by the committee to recommend that the House remove his immunity, possibly as early as Thursday. Ghattas is suspected of passing contraband cellular phones and information to security prisoners.

At this point, MK Ghattas is probably aware that police have the goods on him: during his initial interrogation, he was shown video documenting clearly how he passed the phones and the documents to Arab terrorists behind bars. According to unofficial police reports, Ghattas was stunned, and was unable to come up with a consistent explanation to his actions onscreen.

Sources close to Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan revealed to Israel’s Channel 2 News how Ghattas was caught red-handed. In recent months, according to those sources, Arab MK were not allowed to visit security prisoners. The sole exception was MK Ghattas, who continued to receive permits for those visits. Apparently, police and the prisons authority had been informed about his pattern of violations, and so they signaled the minister to lend the MK a long rope for his own hanging. The rest was just a matter of security cameras doing their job.

Ghattas had originally request an opportunity to face the Knesset committee, and planned to accuse it of conducting a political witch hunt. His letter to Committee Chair MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) stated, “This is an unreasonable process by which a hearing is set before reception of the request and without a proper opportunity and reasonable time to study it. […] from the start of this episode police and law enforcement authorities have been stepping on my rights and preventing me from having my dignified due process. The debate you will be conducting today is nothing more than political, with a predictable outcome.”

Ghattas’ cousin, disgraced former MK Azmi Bishara, in 2006 was the subject of an Israeli criminal investigation, for money laundering, contact with a foreign agent, delivery of information to the enemy and aiding the enemy in wartime. After Bishara had been stripped of his parliamentary immunity, he fled Israel and has not returned since.

David Israel

Israeli Arab MK Basel Ghattas Admits to Giving Cell Phones to Jailed Terrorist Inmates

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

An Israeli Arab lawmakers has admitted to smuggling coded information and miniature cell phones to Palestinian Authority Arab prisoners held on security offenses in an Israeli prison.

Balad Knesset Member Basel Ghattas of the Joint Arab List faction admitted under questioning by the Israel Police special investigative Lahav 433 unit on Tuesday to giving cell phones to incarcerated Arab terrorists in an Israeli prison.

Ghattas is accused of smuggling miniature phones and coded intelligence information to Palestinian Authority Arab prisoners convicted for carrying out terrorist attacks who are incarcerated at Ketziot Prison, south of Be’er Sheva.

First reported by Israel’s Channel 2 television news, the admission by Ghattas came after police showed the lawmaker video footage of him actually delivering the messages and the phones during a visit Sunday with two inmates who are members of the Palestinian Authority’s leading Fatah faction. One of the two is serving a 37-year sentence for murder.

When the accusations were initially made by police, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Tuesday proposed a measure – recommended to him by the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency – to ban Knesset members altogether from visiting security prisoners. The bill was immediately approved Tuesday by the Knesset House Committee. The ban applies to prisoners held on security offenses, be they citizens of Israel or the Palestinian Authority, Jewish, Christian or Muslim. Ghattas told journalists following questioning with police that the “prisoners issue” was “unbearably painful.” He characterized his visits to the jailed terrorists as “humanitarian and moral activism.”

The lawmaker said the prisoners, all of whom are convicted terrorists are “suffering under difficult conditions, and this issue is part of my public and parliamentary work, which I am carrying out responsibly. I have nothing to hide. We are entering and leaving these interrogations with our heads held high,” he added, saying, “In the end it will turn out they have made a mountain out of a molehill.”

But Erdan doesn’t see it that way. In an interview with Israel Army Radio, he pointed out that Ghattas has honored murderers in the past. “This is a member of Knesset who just three-four months ago held a moment of silence in memory of murderers in the recent terror wave in Jerusalem, who joins flotillas that identify with Gaza, who calls [late former President] Shimon Peres the ‘greatest of war criminals,’ who sneaks onto the Temple Mount just to provoke. It won’t be such a disaster if he isn’t in the Knesset — even if he isn’t convicted.”

Meanwhile, Israel Police said Monday that they have instructed officials at all Israeli border crossings to prevent Ghattas from leaving the country – as a previous member of his political party did to escape justice. (Former Balad Knesset Member Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel in 2007 after being accused of aiding Hezbollah terrorists, formally turned in his resignation from the parliament of the Jewish State and the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.)

The move to block Ghattas from fleeing followed a debate on the suspicions into the lawmaker’s behavior at the Knesset Committee, chaired Knesset Member Yoav Kish (Likud.) Kish said Ghattas belongs in jail, not the Knesset.

Kish’s party faction colleague, MK Ze’ev Elkin, said he has started gathering signatures to remove Ghattas from the Knesset under the terms of a new law that gives Knesset Members the right to vote a legislator out of office for incitement to racism, or for supporting armed conflict against the State of Israel.

“We are starting to gather signatures in order to put an end to the phenomenon of MKs supporting terrorism,” Elkin wrote on Twitter. “Let’s put an end to MKs using their parliamentary immunity for aiding terrorists.”

The measure became law last July. It requires the support of at least 90 MKs, 10 of whom are members of the Opposition, to expel a Knesset Member.

MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said, “The news about MK Ghattas is extremely serious. If it becomes clear that he is guilty of the crimes he is accused of, he must be brought to justice. It is inconceivable that an MK will commit subterfuge against the State of Israel and its citizens.”

Andrew Friedman and TPS contributed content to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

In Wake of Amona, Netanyahu Orders Demolition of Illegal Arab Construction

Friday, December 16th, 2016

In advance of the anticipated evacuation and demolition of Amona by order of the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to speed up the demolition of illegal construction in the Arab sector, Army Radio reported Thursday night.

Over the past two weeks, the PM has held two discussions on enforcing the law in cases of illegal Arab construction, with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), Police Chief Ronnie Alshich, and other law enforcement officials.

“There will be no double standards regarding construction,” Netanyahu stated during these discussions. “In Israel there will be an equal enforcement of the law for Jews and Arabs.”

According to the NGO Regavim (The National Land Protection Trust), dedicated to tracking illegal constructions in the Arab sector, more than 50,000 illegal structures have been built in northern Israel, 10,000 of them in Wadi Ara, a near-exclusively Arab area through which runs the highway connecting Israel’s coast with Afula, Tiberias and Tsfat.

Regavim, which estimates the annual illegal construction in the Arab sector at 3,000, petitioned the High Court of Justice against the Haifa municipality’s District Planning and Building Committee, for failure to carry out a demolition order, but the court declined to take up the petition.

David Israel

African BDS Activist Refused Entry at Ben Gurion International

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

A citizen of Malawi was prevented from entering Israel Monday at Ben Gurion International airport, based on her participation in the World Council of Churches (WCC), which supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel, based on the “Kairos Palestine Document,” which is a call by Christian Arabs to Christians around the world to help fight the “Israeli occupation,” Walla reported.

This is the first time Israel blocked the entry of a foreign visitor solely on the basis of their activism in the BDS movement. The move was decided by both Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) and Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan (Likud), who in charge of operations against boycotts of Israel.

The visitor, Isabel Phiri, landed Monday afternoon at Ben Gurion and presented her tourist visa. Following his consultation with Erdan, Deri banned her from entering.

The Ministry of Strategic Affairs has determined that, as of 2002, the WCC has been promoting a program called The Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) which sends activists to Israel to encourage the boycotting of the Jewish State.

Minister Deri said in a statement that it is well within his authority to prevent the entry of travelers whose purpose in Israel is to support and encourage anti-Israeli activities. “I will continue to use my authority to prevent harm to Israel.”

Minister Erdan said in a statement, “The place for boycott activists is outside Israel’s borders, and we will continue to use every available means to prevent their entry into our country.”

David Israel

Erdan: 90% of Israel’s Waste Water Recycled, 4 Times Higher than Anywhere Else

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Minister of Strategic Affairs & Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan paid tribute to Israel’s world-renowned sustainable innovation at this week’s first-ever Israeli CSR Experience Conference hosted by Maala, the country’s CSR standards organization.

“Today, nearly 90 percent of our waste water is recycled,” Minister Erdan stated. “That’s around four times higher than any other country in the world. It is a remarkable achievement and this benefits not only Israel. Israeli companies are helping save water around the world, from Africa to California to India.”

The conference saw leaders from Israel’s business community and key international opinion makers in the sustainability and CSR community gather to address Israel’s social and environmental innovation and the strides it continues to make in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). A plethora of speakers and experts from the likes of Teva, Intel, 3M and Strauss Group headed an all-day summit in Tel Aviv Wednesday; also featured were on-site visits around the country to witness Israel’s cutting-edge sustainability in action.

From the world’s most environmentally friendly recycled paper to water shortage solutions, sustainable healthcare, energy conservation and the green construction and infrastructure of the future, Israel continues to lead the way in sustainable innovation, living up to its status as the world’s top innovator in the field of clean technologies according to the Global Cleantech 100 Index.

“Israel is innovative, creative and dynamic and has more high-tech startups per capita than anywhere else in the world,” Erdan continued. “And these startups in large part are not only focused on creating high profits, but also on finding ways to solve the world’s most pressing problems.”

Companies leading the way in sustainability and innovation within their respective fields featured at the event included Hadera Paper, the world’s most recycled & environment-friendly paper; Netafim – pioneers of drip and micro-irrigation; and Mekorot, the country’s top agency for water management. These companies were recognized at the conference for their extraordinary vision and innovation in addressing some of the country’s most pressing issues.

“This is our first ever international conference and we feel CSR work in Israel has reached a mature enough stage to reflect on our environment with the international CSR community,” said Maala CEO Momo Mahadav. “There is, however, lots of work still to be done and we’ve planned this day to allow as much engagement as possible. Israeli CSR has always focused on domestic needs first, which is a big difference from the international CSR community that focuses on global issues, such as climate change.”

Ninety-eight companies now voluntarily participate in the annual Maala CSR Index, an assessment tool Benchmarking Israeli Companies on their corporate social responsibility Performance, including Teva, Unilever Israel, Strauss Group, Siemens Israel, Microsoft Israel, Intel Israel, El Al and Live Person. These 75 large and 23 small to mid-size companies together employ 310,000, with annual sales of $94 billion, representing approximately one-third of Israel’s GDP.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/erdan-90-of-israels-waste-water-recycled-4-times-higher-than-anywhere-else/2016/12/01/

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