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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Golan Heights’

Government Approves Bill to Annex the Jordan Valley

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

After almost 47 years in which the entire area conquered in 1967, other than East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, have remained a military occupation zone, this Sunday the Netanyahu government approved a bill that would annex the Jordan Valley.

The government ministers’ legislation committee approved a bill proposed by MK Miri Regev (Likud), to impose Israeli law over Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley. 8 ministers voted for, 3 against.

The committee chairperson, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, said the bill was irresponsible, and whomever supports it is irresponsible, too. She said it was meant as an assault on the government, since policy regarding the disputed territories is a government matter and should not be handled via private bills.

Livni added that the bills’ supporters wish to remain in the government despite the fact that it’s negotiating for a 2-state solution, and at the same time curry favor with the right wing “extremists.”

Did we mention already that she called it provocative and irresponsible?

Yesh Atid Minister Yaakov Perry said the Miri Regev bill to annex the Valley in the middle of a sensitive negotiation, days before the next visit of the American secretary of state is a provocation and a publicity stunt. Perry promised to appeal the bill at the Supreme Court.

In Israel you don’t have to wait until a bill becomes a law to appeal it – and in this way the judiciary can function as an active member of the legislator, despite the fact that no one voted for them, and that they were all appointed by their brother in law, who’s also a judge. Very traditional.

The Israeli media covered mostly what the left had to say about Miri Regev, but the website Srugim actually interviewed Regev, who said she was pleased.

“It’s an important bill, which delivers the message that the State of Israel will not give up the Valley settlements, the eastern security belt of the state,” she said.

A note of interest: the votes in favor of the bill came from all the votes of the Likud, Israel Beiteinu and Jewish Home. This may be an indication that the pro-settlements MKs will be able to turn it into law, especially if Prime Minister Netanyahu does not actively try to kill it – which he has done in similar situations in the past.

The vote today clearly means that Netanyahu gave his approval, tacit or complete, to the annexation bill, making the next Palestinian walkout threat a virtual reality.

Should they walk, Israel may be able to use it as an excuse to halt the murderer prisoner release.

Or Bibi will just kill the bill and we’ll all move on.

Satellite image of the Jordan valley.

Satellite image of the Jordan valley.

Update: Two Katyusha Rockets Hit near Kiryat Shmona

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

An eye witness reports that he saw two rockets fall in the Galil, near the Kiryat Shmona area at around 7 AM.

Update: Channel 2 confirms the report, and no injuries or damage are reported.

Five Katyusha rockets were launched, and at least 2 hit inside Israel.

The IDF says 2 rockets hit in the Margalit area, and the IDF shot somewhere around forty artillery shells at the rocket launch site in Lebanon.

Photo by: Nabu Katzav / NewsIL

Photo by: Nabu Katzav / NewsIL

Golan Heights Reindeer

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

According to GoIsrael, Odem Forest, in the northern Golan, is the home of a deer reserve, with many different species.

Nearby you can also see Rujum al-Hiri (Circle of Ghosts), a Megalithic structure about 5,000 years old that researchers believe was used for ritual purposes, burial or as an astronomy observatory.

And feeding reindeer?

Photo credit: FLASH90

Photo credit: FLASH90

EU Parliament Members Urge ‘Rethink’ on Judea and Samaria

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s attempt to ban funding of projects in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Height and areas of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority is being challenged by 27 Members of the EU Parliament.

Aston’s guidelines are to go into effect January I, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has threatened to pull Israel out of the seven-year  EU Horizon 2020 project to which Israel is committed to contribute approximately $800 million.

In a letter addressed to Ashton, the MEPs, from across the political spectrum, urged the EU Commission, the EU’s executive arm, to reverse or at least soften the guidelines, the European Jewish Press reported.

Israel has taken part in EU research and development programs since 1996, including over the last seven years in which 1,584 Israeli researchers took part in more than 1,300 projects and received a total of more than $800 million in grant money.

This Sunday Tell Kerry: We’re Keeping Samaria for the Wine

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Quality Israeli wines used to only come from the Golan Heights, an area reminiscent of Sonoma County, California. But as different regions of the country have been busy developing their own unique brands and tastes, it appears that a renaissance of sorts has been taking place in the largest wine growing region, the Shomron, or Samaria, where Israelite kings and prophets used to roam the earth and, very likely, sample the local wines.

It turns out that, in recent years, the Shomron has produced a disproportionate number of award winning wines from its relatively young vineyards and abundance of boutique wineries.

The foundation of the Shomron wine taste comes down to the high altitude, the humid and warm climate and the heavy and limey soil. Ah, and there’s the breeze, blowing in from the sea and gliding off the Carmel Mountains.

Frankly, there are probably some secular Israelis, alas, who couldn’t care less whether this sacred land would go into someone else’s hands or stay Jewish. But giving up this amazing wine country—same as in the Golan—would be unthinkable to many of them.

Now, whatever your political views, if you wish to find out for yourself what’s the big deal about Shomron wines – they’re coming to New York, this Sunday.

Shomron Wine Tasting in New York City

Sunday, November 17, come taste award-winning wines from Samaria.

A Wine Tasting Reception is planned for 6:30 PM, following Sunday’s Israel Advocacy Conference at the West Side Institutional Synagogue (the original location was the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue—it’s been changed).

West Side Institutional Synagogue

120 West 76th Street

(212) 877-7652

Many of the featured wines have only limited availability in the U.S., because of politics—the boycotts on products from the wrong side of the 1949 armistice border also known as the “green line.” So Sunday’s reception is sure to draw enthusiasts of both great wines and of Israel, eager to taste and assortment of wines that consistently score at 90 and above.

Featured producers include Arnon, Mount Blessing, Psagot, Shiloh and Tura wineries, which have together brought attention and acclaim to this region by winning multiple high-level awards in the Vinalies, Zarcillo, Terravino, and Eshkol Ha’zahav competitions.

You can register for the conference and the wine tasting here. The cost for the wine tasting event is $100 per person, for an offering of a large variety of bottles priced in the $40-80 range.

The suggested donation fee for attending the conference is $18.

Two Mortar Shells from Syria Explode at Golan Heights Border

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Two more mortar shells fired by either Syrian rebels or soldiers exploded at the Golan Heights border Monday. The IDF said the shells apparently were stray fire in clashes between the two sides. No one was injured and no damage was reported.

The Golan Heights frequently has been under fire the past several months, sometimes intentionally.

UPDATE: IDF Attacks Source of Mortar Fire from Syria

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

The IDF attacked the source of mortar fire on Israel Wednesday afternoon and injured Syrian soldiers after two shells exploded in the Golan Heights and lightly wounded two Israeli soldiers.

The retaliatory attack knocked out the mortar launcher on the Syrian side of the Golan, and military spokesmen that an unknown number of Syrian fighters apparently soldiers of the Assad regime, were injured.

It was the first time Israeli soldiers were wounded from fire on the Syrian side during the civil war, and it was at least the second time the IDF retaliated. Two months ago, the Israeli army fired a missile on Syrian territory after artillery fire on the Israeli side of the Golan.

One of the Israeli soldiers suffered shrapnel wounds and the other was treated for shock. Both were evacuated to the hospital in Tzfat (Safed).

It is not yet known whether the fire from the Syrian side was errant or intentional, but preliminary estimates were that the soldiers were hit by stray mortar shells.

It was only a matter of time until there were injuries to Israeli soldiers. Residents of the Golan and soldiers posted near the border have become accustomed to mortars shells and occasional machine gun fire the past several months as the civil war continues to rage on the other side of the border.

Heavy fighting was reported on Wednesday between Syrian rebels and soldiers loyal to the Assad regime.

Syria and Israel have maintained a ceasefire since 1974, one year after the Yom Kippur War. It has held despite a cold war between Israel and the Assad regime, but the civil war has raised the threat that either side might jump at an opportunity to try to draw Israel into the conflict.

U.N. troops posted in the demilitarized zone were forced to evacuate the area several times this year because of battles, and in at least two instances, U.N. soldiers were kidnapped or detained.

Syrian Clashes Rage Next to Golan Heights Border

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Mortar shells from pro and anti-Assad forces landed next the border fence at the Golan Heights Tuesday morning, forcing Israelis to halt maintenance work and vacate the area.

Ten Syrian civilians crossed the border where there is no fence to take refuge, and the IDF so far has not sent them back.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/syrian-clashes-rage-next-to-golan-heights-border/2013/10/08/

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