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February 9, 2016 / 30 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Golan Heights’

Howling Winter Storm Drops Snow, Sleet, Hail and Rain

Monday, January 25th, 2016

The wind is still howling through the Negev and the snow has piled up in the ski resort of Mount Hermon, where operators already had closed down the access road before the first flakes fell.

By 9 am some 50 centimeters (20 inches) of snow had fallen at the ski resort.

Snow has continued to fall in the Golan Heights and the Galilee, with some gusts of up to 80 kilometer-per-hour (50 mph) winds.

By 10:30 am, the white stuff was drifting down on to the holy city of Jerusalem. At midday, a shopper in the capital told em>JewishPress.com that the supermarket he was in was flooding from “who knows where.”

A Jerusalem supermarket is flooded by a winter storm.

A Jerusalem supermarket is flooded by a winter storm.

“J.R.” reported it was “freezing, just freezing” in Jerusalem and that “everything – you name it – is coming down from the skies.”

Hail pelts a car parked in Jerusalem.

Hail pelts a car parked in Jerusalem.

Snow was continuing to fall in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and Kiryat Arba at 1:30 pm Monday. Rain, sleet, and some hail mixed with snow were spotted in the northern Negev as well.

Roads around the Dead Sea region – in particular, Highway 90 – closed down due to flooding.

Freezing and close to freezing temperatures are expected to continue in Jerusalem and points north.

Temperatures are expected to be a bit warmer in Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva.

The Snowman Cometh

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

The long-awaited winter storm, first reported by The Jewish Press.com here yesterday, is strengthening and is turning into a more of a monster than first predicted, with snow possible in Jerusalem.

Weather models still are not in agreement on how far south the snow will fall and if it will accumulate, but most models indicate that there will be snow on the ground in the Jerusalem in areas 900 meters high, which includes Neve Daniel in Gush Etzion and Hebron.

Snow is expected in Safed (Tzfat) and other areas in the upper Galilee and possibly in the central Golan Heights. More importantly, there will be rain, and lots of it, with up to four inches in some areas.

The precipitation now is expected to last through Saturday morning.

Very light and occasional rain fell in several areas of Israel Tuesday afternoon, and more will fall on Wednesday, but the serious stuff begins early Thursday morning.

Rain will fall from the north to the northern Negev with isolated thunderstorms, strong winds, and a strong chance of flash floods in the Arava and Dead Sea areas.

The white stuff will cover the Hermon and the upper Golan Heights and spread to higher peaks in the north and central regions.

If any snow accumulates in the Jerusalem area, it won’t be around for very long caucus temperatures are expected to rise on Sunday, although still below the norm for the season.

Israeli Ambassador Sends Washington Bigwigs Settlements Gift Products

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

(JNi.media) Israel’s ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer sent senior Washington officials a series of Christmas gifts with a message which the media described as “provocative.” In a letter that came with the gift packages, Dermer wrote: “This holiday season, I decided to send a gift that would also help combat the latest effort by Israel’s enemies to destroy the one and only Jewish state. That effort is called the BDS movement — the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. The main forces behind this movement are fanatics who actively seek to eliminate Israel. Unfortunately, they are occasionally joined by fools who believe that in promoting BDS, they are advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

The ambassador continues in this vein for several paragraphs, finally concluding: “In response to this effort to cast a beacon of freedom, tolerance and decency as a pariah state, I have decided this holiday season to send you products that were made in Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. I hope you will enjoy them.

“May you and your family enjoy a New Year of faith and happiness.”

In response to a New York Times inquiry, the White House refused to say whether President Barack Obama also received one of the gift packages. The Israeli Embassy in Washington declined to provide information on the identity of the recipients.

“The U.S. government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements and activity associated with them and, by extension, does not pursue policies or activities that would legitimize them,” Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in an email.

He probably didn’t get one of those settlements gifts.

Israel’s Wine Guide Boycotts Judea and Samaria Wineries

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) When Vered Ben Saadon, owner of the Tura winery in Rehelim, Samaria, approached the editors of The New Israeli Wine Guide, the Israeli wine lovers’ bible with reviews of more than 90 wines by 40 different wineries, she was told her wines would not be included, for political reasons, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Tuesday.

According to Channel 2, a Guide co-editor told Ben Saadon, “Look, I hate to tell you this, but our policy has not changed since last year.”

She said, “Which basically means that because we’re, like, from this region [Judea and Samaria], then it won’t work?” The co-editor confirmed. She asked, “By the way, the Golan Heights is inside?” and was told, “The Golan Heights is inside.”

Of course, if the guide were to exclude the Golan wineries it would have been a very thin book, without industry stars like Yarden and Gamla.

“In other words, only Judea and Samaria is out?” Ben Saadon insisted, and the co-editor confirmed.

The wine industry is flourishing in Judea and Samaria, where many wineries have started up. The area is considered ideal for growing grapes and area vineyards have been awarded prestigious prizes in international competitions.

Ben Saadoun established the Tura winery together with her husband 13 years ago. Since then, their wines have won numerous awards in Israel and abroad, but they find it difficult to reach new customers in Israel because of discrimination—their winery is located on the wrong side the 1949 armistice line, a.k.a. the green line.

Tura is not the only winery boycotted by the guide. Another vintner, from Ofra, who spoke to one of the co-editors, received the same response: “Unfortunately we are not tasting in wineries across the green line.”

The co-editors of The New Israeli Wine Guide are sommelier Gal Zohar and Yair Gath, the wine critic of Israel Hayom, which is considered a right-leaning newspaper. They told Channel 2 News they have no doubt about the high quality of Judea and Samaria wines, they just don’t wish to include them.

One co-editor told Vered Ben Saadon, “These wines are excellent and it’s a wonderful area and you do great work and everything, but you know, with everything around, it puts us in a problematic situation.”

Ben Saadon said, “I understand. And there’s no chance of that if we meet it would change anything?”

The co-editor said, “I don’t believe it would.”

Ben Saadon told Channel 2 News, “I’m, like, upset because we’re like beyond the green line it disqualifies us from entering the book.”

One of the editors, Yair Gath, told Channel 2 News, “This is a personal project, not funded by anybody, and it’s our full right to choose who will participate in it and who will not, and we chose not to take in wines from the territories. Why? Because we think it’s wrong.”

Number of Israelis Living in Golan Heights to Double Following Syrian Civil War

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

(JNi.media) Over the next five years, Jewish settlement in the Golan Heights is expected to double itself, according to the expansion plans of Katzrin Local Council and the Golan Regional Council. “In the past we needed campaigns to encourage settlement in the Golan, today we are struggling to keep up with demand,” Golan Council sources told Walla. According to those sources, “If we were not limited by the bureaucracy — we could double the number of residents in one year, not in five.” They stressed that “the demand started even before the Knesset approved tax benefits for local residents.”

Jewish settlement in the Golan region ended in 636 CE, after the Arab conquest. In the 16th century, the Golan was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and was part of the Damascus province until it was taken by the French in 1918. When the French mandate ended in 1946 the Golan became part of the newly independent Syrian Arab Republic, which used it to launch attacks against the new Jewish State starting in 1948 and continuing for the 19 years that followed. The Golan Heights were captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, and in 1981 Israel passed the Golan Heights Law, applying Israeli “laws, jurisdiction and administration” to the Golan Heights. Although the law annexed the territory to Israel de facto, it did not explicitly mention a formal annexation. The area is being administered as part of Israel’s North District.

According to the new plan, Katzrin, the capital of the Golan Heights, with 8,000 residents, will grow to 20,000 by 2020.

Golan Regional Council officials noted that they recently began to implement a huge plan for an Eastern Galilee cluster. They hope to create a regional municipal corporation, to promote strategic cooperation between 17 local and regional authorities in the Golan Heights and Upper Galilee. The revolutionary program seeks to turn traditional farming into a knowledge-intensive industry, and serve as a central engine of economic growth.

According to forecasts, development, upgrading and construction of agricultural research institutes in the Golan Heights will eventually encourage local farmers to turn to medicinal farming, an upgrading that will open new areas of medicinal plant growing for sale worldwide. Today, the Golan’s Field of Happiness farm is one of the largest growers of medicinal marijuana in Israel.

Since 2012, several incidents have taken place on the Israeli–Syrian ceasefire line during the Syrian Civil War, a spillover of the clashes between the Syrian Army and the rebels, as well as with offshoots of Al Qaeda and ISIS and between each of these forces, which have been ongoing on the Syrian-controlled side of the Golan. As of 2014, one Israeli civilian was killed and at least 4 soldiers wounded. The IDF retaliated shortly after each spillover incident.

“We have always been clear that Israel is not returning the Golan Heights to Syria. But now, when the brutal civil war in the neighboring country continues to rage, it has become clear to everyone,” Katzrin mayor Dmitry Apartsev told Walla. “The government decided in June 2014 to boost Katzrin as capital of the Golan, and budgeted $17 million, to be invested, among other things, in the absorption of new residents.”

Apartsev added that “in the last two years we’ve sold about 500 new housing units and invested huge efforts to upgrade the educational and cultural systems. All this was done in order to be prepared for a land marketing campaign, planned for the first quarter of 2016, when we will be able to sell 800 new housing units.” Down the road, according to Apartsev, Katzrin will prepare “3,800 housing units for marketing, planning, sale or construction.” Katzrin today has about 2,500 housing units altogether.

UPDATE: German Store Sells ‘Made in Israeli’ Goods from Settlements

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Galeria Kaufhof, one of Germany’s largest department store chains, says it will continue to sell Israeli “settlement” products even if they do not have the new required label “Made in Settlements.”

The store reiterated a statement last week that it is the importers’ responsibility to follow the new European Union requirement that all products from the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria be labeled without indicating that they are made in Israel.

Product from the Golan Heights (Israeli settlement)’ or ‘Product from West Bank (Israeli settlement).’

An earlier report carried here quoted Channel 10 as saying that Galeria Kaufhof, which operates more than 100 stores in Germany, is removing “settlement” products from its shelves. The company vehemently denied the report, which also quoted a store manager as saying:

The EU is waging a religious war against Israel. It is one big political madness.

Galeria Kaufhof firmly stated today, as reported by Globes:

Our company has not removed any of those products from the shelves. We import the goods via European importers who are responsible for correct declaration. We do not get involved in politics with our assortment. Our core customer’s demands set the standards for the products we sell.

The company stand is directly opposite that of the large KaDeWe supermarket chain that yanked Golan Heights wines, Ahava cosmetics and other goods from its shelves.

KaDeWe later said the merchandise would be returned after being labeled according to the new EU regulations.

Under the new rules, products are from Arab areas will carry labels declaring: “Product from West Bank (product from Palestine), “Product from West Bank (Palestinian product),” “Product from Gaza (Palestinian product)” or “(product from Palestine).”

However, the EU says the labeling is not intended to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a country.

 

Shin Bet Busts ISIS-Israeli Arab Cell

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and police revealed Wednesday they have arrested six Arabs with Israeli citizenship who plotted to join the Islamic State (ISIS).

The cell includes the paraglider who flew from the Golan Heights and into Syria last month. All of the members of the cell are from Jaljulia, a city immediately east of Kfar Saba in northern metropolitan Tel Aviv.

The paraglider, 23-year-old Nedal Ahmed Salah, was helped by five others, including two brothers. One of them previously fought for ISIS and returned to Israel, where he was jailed, for several months.

The paragliding incident led to the exposure of the cell.

Salah and his brothers chose to reach Syria through the air because of tight security at Ben Gurion Airport and at the Golan Heights border. The other members of the cell planned to enter Syria via Turkey.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shin-bet-busts-isis-israeli-arab-cell/2015/11/18/

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