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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gush Etzion’

The Heroes of Efrat

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

The Efrat Rapid Response Team and the IDF saved lives this morning and prevented a far worse terror attack from happening in the town of Efrat in Gush Etzion.

An IDF reserve officer was wounded after being stabbed by a terrorist who had infiltrated into the town overnight. The terrorist was hiding in the bushes adjacent to some homes.

The presence of the security teams searching the street prevented the terrorist from entering any homes or attacking children and civilians walking down the street.

Some pictures of the heroes in action.

Photos by Gerson Elinson/Flash90








Guarding the schools:





More pictures to follow…

Photo of the Day

UPDATE: Terror Attack inside Efrat, 1 Wounded [video]

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

An IDF officer was wounded inside the Gush Etzion town of Efrat in a terror attack, early Sunday morning, according to the IDF.

The town’s security cameras saw a suspicious figure just outside the perimeter of the town at 1:40 AM. Local security forces and the IDF were called out and searched all night for the terrorist who was hiding in some bushes inside the town. At around 6 AM the terrorist jumped out of his hiding spot and stabbed an IDF officer involved in the search.

The attack happened at the entrance to Tziporen Street, next to Pitom HaKetoret Street, in the Zayit neighborhood.

Hatzalah Judea and Samaria says the officer is in moderate condition, with a wound to the stomach. He was taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital.

The terrorist was shot and neutralized, and is currently listed in moderate condition, with a bullet wound to the head, according to Hadassah hospital (the terrorist was originally listed in critical condition, but apparently the bullet bounced off his head). The terrorist is a 20-year-old from the village of Irtas (Artas), next to Bethlehem, just north-east of Efrat.

The town of Efrat was in lockdown until 7 AM while security teams searched for possible additional terrorists.

The terrorist had 2 knives on him. A more serious attack was foiled.

7:09 AM: The lockdown is over. Schools will starting on time, with additional security.

Refuah Sheleima to the officer: Shraga Eliezer ben Bat Sheva

knives-in-efrat-attack-sept-18-2016Source: Rotter.net / Tchelet Domeh Leyam


For more photos from Efrat, click here.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Only You Can Help Efrat Stay Safe

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

For more information, contact Keren Efrat.

Video of the Day

Border Guard Female Officer Wounded in Rock Throwing

Monday, September 12th, 2016

A female Border Guard officer was injured from a barrage of stones thrown at her unit by Arabs in a village near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

The officer received first aid and was evacuated for further treatment in a hospital.

David Israel

A Pillar of Torah Lost as Haifa Chief Rabbi Sha’ar Yashuv Cohen Passes Away at 89

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Israel has lost a pillar of Torah and interfaith dialogue with the passing of Rabbi Eliyahu Yosef Sha’ar Yashuv Cohen, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Haifa, who left this world Monday (Sept. 5, 2016 / 2 Elul 5776) at the age of 89.

Born in Jerusalem to “Rabbi David the Nazirite,” he was the 18th generation descendant of Torah scholars and rabbis. But the younger man who grew up to become a chief rabbi in Haifa decided not to follow his father’s footsteps and instead, although he lived his life as a vegetarian, relinquished the Nazirite vow as a teen.

His mother, Sarah Etkin, was one of the founders of “Omen,” a religious women’s organization that was the predecessor to the Emunah Women international organization.

The rabbi’s family tradition hearkens back to a long history of social activism: The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson of righteous memory, hid in Rabbi Cohen’s grandfather’s house after the Bolshevik Revolution.

The young Torah scholar became one of the finest students of Israel’s first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi during the British Mandate, Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook — the founder of the Religious Zionist movement.

His formal schooling took place at Talmud Torah Geulah, and he studied at the yeshivot “Torat Yerushalayim,” “Mercaz Harav,” and “Etz Hayyim.” But in his youth, he played the violin at the melave malka celebrations after the Sabbath in his family’s home, to the great enjoyment of Rabbi Kook, who attended the weekly events.

While a student at the Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav in 1948, Rabbi Cohen also participated in ‘the Hasmonean Covenant” underground that fought the British occupation. He was also an active member of the Hagana, and helped found religious Zionist fighting units.

He served during the War of Independence with the Etzel military group and fought in the defense of Gush Etzion and the Old City of Jerusalem, during which battle he was seriously wounded and taken prisoner by the Jordanian Legion. In captivity he underwent surgery on his foot — an incident that left him permanently disabled.

Upon his release from captivity, the rabbi returned to military service and remained in the IDF for the next seven years, rising in status to become the Chief Rabbi of the Israel Air Force and Rabbi of Military Command. He served as chaplain of the IDF Brigade that crossed the Suez Canal during the 1973 Yom Kippur War as well.

But Rabbi Cohen also attended secular university, earning a Masters Degree in Law, with honors, at Hebrew University of Jerusalem School of Law. He was serving as the deputy mayor of Jerusalem during the liberation of the occupied portion of the capital from Jordanian hands in the 1967 Six Day War.

The rabbi was appointed in 1975 to the post of Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Haifa, serving in that role until 2011 and as head of the city’s Rabbinical Court system. He also founded the Ariel Institute in Jerusalem, a training program for rabbonim and rabbinic judges, and served as chairman of the board at the Harry Fischel Institute for Talmudic Research. The rabbi was also recently appointed head of the Committee for Dialogue between Judaism and Islam, and headed a similar committee that fielded dialogue between the Chief Rabbinate and the Vatican.

Unlike his father, Rabbi Cohen was not a Nazirite although as a child his hair was not cut and he wore canvas shoes. At age 16, a special rabbinic court of Jerusalem rabbis convened at his home to release him from the Nazirite vow. Nevertheless, even as an adult, he refrained from drinking wine and eating meat and fish his entire life.

Soft-spoken and gentle in manner, Rabbi Cohen fought vigorously for his beliefs — including his opposition to the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza, calling it an unforgiveable act for its cruelty to the Jews living there. He pointed to the dragging of Israelis from their synagogues and the destruction of Jewish holy places of worship, and said this came in addition to the prohibition against relinquishing sovereignty over any part of the Land of Israel.

The Rabbi is survived by his wife, Dr. Naomi Cohen, a scholar who taught Torah classes in her home. The couple had a daughter, Eliraz Kraus, six grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren.

Boruch Dayan HoEmes.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Freedom March’ Spells Pre-Shabbat Nightmare for Gush Etzion Jews

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

A group called Combatants for Peace, in cooperation with the “Standing Together” initiative (not this Standing Together, but a different group which is occupying the same name), plans to gather hundreds of Jews and Arabs to “demonstrate together at the Freedom March on Friday, September 2, at 1:30 PM, by the tunnel checkpoint” in Gush Etzion, to protest Israeli administrative detentions without trial and in solidarity with hunger strikers (suspected terrorists and affiliates).

The Freedom March will begin at the Battir village roundabout adjacent to Route 60, and proceed to the tunnel checkpoint “separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem”.

Their press release wasn’t accurate, as the tunnel checkpoint separates Gush Etzion from Jerusalem, whereas Bethlehem is separated from Jerusalem at the checkpoint on Derech Hebron in Jerusalem at the turnoff to Rachel’s Tomb.

The section of Route 60 known as the Tunnel Road, built by Israel, is a stretch of a little under 1.5 miles, the road crosses the Refa’im range and the Beit Gilo range in two tunnels, one 300 yards, the other 1,000 yards, connected with a large bridge over the Gilo River valley.

Israel began building the bridge and tunnels in 1992 and the stretch was inaugurated on September 2, 1996. There’s a 20 year anniversary coming up in a few days.

It is now the main highway that connects Jerusalem and western Gush Etzion, and was built, in part, to relieve the pressure from the old, scenic Walleja road which wasn’t designed for the volume of traffic that exists in Gush Etzion, and as one of the bypass roads that were built after the Oslo accords were signed.

The unique stretch of this tunnel road allows a few dozen (the organizers will never attract hundreds) protesters to block traffic travelling between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion on Erev Shabbat, as they did back in July, when a group of “former” Arab terrorists and their leftwing Israeli enablers held a protest and for a short time blocked Highway 60, holding up signs saying “The wall is violent,” which, by the way, the year 2006 called and wanted back.

The problem is that these protests are done with approval from the IDF, and so, as long as the protesters are not using violence and stay on the side of the road (which they obviously didn’t do last time) no one cares. But when they block the road, motorists are forced to stay in their cars in an ever burgeoning traffic jam, and wait for someone in authority to come open up the highway.

With Shabbat candle lighting time starting to drop below 7 PM, in a few weeks such protests could pose an enormous inconvenience for hundreds, if not thousands of local residents and visitors.

JewishPress.com inquired with the organizers via email if they invited participants from Judea and Samaria who have protested against administrative detentions and restraining orders against Jews. They responded that “anyone who supports human rights and an end to the occupation is more than welcome.”

So much for cooperation and intersectionality between the downtrodden.

So, if you live in Gush Etzion and plan a trip to Jerusalem Friday — maybe you should stay home and clean up before Shabbat.

David Israel

The Devil is in the Details

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

I was shocked to read last week in the Jerusalem Post that Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, is supporting a radical and dangerous leftwing “peace plan,” and worse, this plan is being promoted to the youths of Efrat and other settlements.

“Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the founder and chief rabbi of Efrat, has expressed support, at the behest of his 18-year-old grandson, Eden, also a resident of Efrat, who has taken a leading role in drumming up support among teenagers and young adults (or, [in the words of the plan’s chief promoter Eliaz] Cohen, “infecting them with the sense of hope that is expressed by this proposal).”

I met and spoke with Rabbi Riskin a few times this week and he wanted to emphasize that he insists he “never accepted the plan.”

Rabbi Riskin said he was approached and was presented with a germ of an idea for a peace initiative, but was not made aware of any clear formulation of the terms of the plan itself.

Rabbi Riskin said he liked the name of the plan, “Two States, One Homeland,” and the concept as it was presented to him: a plan that would allow for peaceful coexistence, and did not require anyone, Jew or Arab, to be expelled from their homes.

Rabbi Riskin is a big believer and proponent of peace and coexistence between Jews and Arabs. He puts his money where his mouth is, and is known to personally get involved in helping Arabs who live in the villages around the town of Efrat. Without a doubt, this Rabbi is one of the reasons there so little friction between Jewish Efrat and its Arab neighbors.

He gave the plan’s advocate some stipulations of what any plan must include if he were to support it:

1) The Israeli-Jewish areas where Jews lived must clearly constitute a strong majority of Jews who would be establishing a Jewish State.

2) Not only would Jews have rights of access – and of course shared ownership – to the Temple Mount,  but would also be permitted to build a synagogue on the Temple Mount.

3) There would be a complete cessation of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda in Palestinian media and publications.

4) The Arab areas must be demilitarized.

Alas, the good Rabbi was not thinking like a good radical leftist, and didn’t consider the far more dangerous provisos that any typical leftwing “peace plan” might include.

Nothing New at All

The Jerusalem Post article’s author, Andrew Friedman, claims “the plan is a departure from the classic two-states-for-two-peoples formula,” but it’s anything but that.

It instead takes elements from some of the worst proposals, ideas that even Peres, Beilin and Sarid refused to entertain, and makes them the cornerstones of the plan.

But that’s not what makes this plan dangerous. The danger lies in the fact that this peace plan’s proponents are targeting Jewish settlement youths and older settlers who truly believe that coexistence is possible, repackaged to make the plan sound benign.

Unlimited Arab Refugees Allowed to Overrun Israel

The “Two State, One Homeland” website clearly states (emphasis added):

Immigration and naturalization Both states will have the right to define their own laws of immigration and naturalization within its boundaries. The State of Palestine would be at liberty to naturalize Palestinian refugees as it sees fit, and the state of Israel will be at liberty to naturalize the Jews of the diaspora, as it sees fit.

The Open Land vision a. The two states would be committed to a vision of one land, within which the citizens of both states have the right to travel and live in all parts of the land;

If their intentions aren’t clear enough from the text above, let me explain it, a fundamental cornerstone of the plan allows for the new Palestinian State to freely invite in millions of “Palestinian Refugees”.

Two million Jordanian Arabs, half a million Lebanese Arabs, and half a million Syrian Arabs (for starters) will be offered citizenship and entry into the new Palestinian state, where they will then be granted free access to the entire country — including the state of Israel, or what’s left of it.

Rabbi Riskin was surprised to learn this was a cornerstone of the plan, and made it clear that he in no way supports such an idea.

Efrat to Become Part of the Palestinian State

Rabbi Riskin was actually shocked to learn that his own town of Efrat would be transferred over to the Palestinian State, and any of its Jewish residents who choose to remain might be allowed to obtain Palestinian State citizenship, or otherwise will be granted “permanent residency” status.

It’s implied in the plan that the Jewish residents remaining inside the Palestinian State will be disarmed.

While he believes there can be land concessions in exchange for peace, Rabbi Riskin said he could never accept a plan that transfers sovereignty of the settlement blocs, and of Jews, away from the State of Israel.

What Demilitarized State?

While the plan calls for some “demilitarized zones” and decommissioning “armed militias and unauthorized organizations,” the Palestinian State will be anything but demilitarized.

In the Q&A section, the authors make it clear that the State of Palestine will be a completely independent sovereign entity with its own independent security force – but not to worry, the plan’s Arab co-authors say “they have no interest in tanks and planes.”

With a plan like this, they won’t need them.

By the way, all the plan’s Arab co-authors “are senior Fatah officials, all of whom served long stints in Israeli jails for murder,” according to the Jerusalem Post article.

Don’t you feel safer now about their intentions?


I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

This plan is nothing more than a regurgitation of the worst of the radical left’s most dangerous ideas.

But the authors are actually playing a different game.

They are trying to get it support from the settlers and the settlement youth, apparently through obfuscation of the dangerous ideas in the plan and playing off the naiveté and idealism of those they approach.

One peace-loving settler, who asked not to be named, told me he was approached by this group to attend one of their parlor meetings. He quickly caught on to their con.

But what about all the idealistic youths who are being targeted and don’t yet have the sophistication to ask the right questions or realize they are being hoodwinked?

One can only hope that Friedman is correct when he writes, “Predictably, the proposal has yet to make headway in the settlement community where distrust of the Palestinians is trumped only by a religious commitment to the Whole Land of Israel.”

It’s also trumped by sheer common sense, shared by about 70% of Israel’s voters who have been leaning decisively to the right over the past ten years. It’s highly doubtful they would buy this plan either – once they know what it actually says.

Stephen Leavitt

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-devil-is-in-the-details/2016/08/25/

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