web analytics
April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Maaleh Adumim’

PA Hit-and-Run Attack Injures Two on Road to Maaleh Adumim

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

A Palestinian Authority escaped a checkpoint inspection and tried to run down a soldier and guards on the road from Maaleh Adumim to Jerusalem shortly after noon Tuesday

A soldier and policemen were slightly injured in the hit-and-run attack.

A soldier at the checkpoint fired and hit the fleeing car, but the driver escaped unhurt. Security officials are searching for the vehicle.

Netanyahu Links Iran with Order to Cancel E-1 Building Plans

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu publicly stated on Wednesday that he ordered Housing Ministry Uri Ariel to retract his plans for development of the controversial E-1 area of Maaleh Adumim because of expected reaction of the international community at the same time he is campaigning against letting  up the pressure on the Islamic Republic.

He said Ariel’s decision to advance the project by hiring an architect was “an unnecessary confrontation with the international community at a time when we are making an effort to persuade elements in the international community to reach a better deal with Iran.”

Ariel, a member of the government coalition partner Jewish Home party, has not commented and is licking his wounds. Prime Minister Netanyahu took a deep breath and two weeks ago when he tolerated Ariel’s leading an unsuccessful battle against freeing more Palestinian Authority terrorists in order to continue the struggling discussion between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Stopping a “bad deal” with Iran is paramount in Netanyahu’s policy, and he immediately snuffed out Ariel’s once he heard about them. Ariel’s plans for homes in the E-1 area, although it is part of the city of Maaleh Adumim, set off alarm bells in Washington and Ramallah and triggered a short crisis that Netanyahu quickly defused at the cost of building an image of following orders from the Obama administration.

“At this time, the attention of the international community must not be diverted from the main effort – preventing Iran from receiving an agreement that will allow it to continue its military nuclear program.,” Netanyahu told the Knesset.

Binyamin (Kerry) Netanyahu Freezes New Homes for Maaleh Adumim

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered Housing Minster Uri Ariel to cancel plans for 1,200 housing units that could accommodate thousands of people in the “E-1” area of the city of Maaleh Adumim, located 10 minutes east of Jerusalem and overlooking the Dead Sea.

The cancellation was ordered shortly after the Haaretz newspaper reported that the Housing Ministry has hired an architect to plan construction of residential units for a reported 20,000 people in Maaleh Adumim and in smaller communities in Judea and Samaria. The cancellation affects only E-1 and not other areas.

The Office of the Prime Minister was unusually honest, although inaccurate, in explaining the order to Ariel, a leading Jewish Home minister.

“There is no need to pay international prices for a process that does not have great significance,” it told the Yediot Acharonot newspaper.”

Not of “great significance?” Apparently, the Prime Minister’s office was being sarcastic. More probable, it was being cynical.

E-1 has become a flashing red line for the Palestinian Authority. Building Jewish homes in E-1 would guarantee that the Palestinian Authority would not endanger Israeli security with a contiguous land mass from eastern Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria.

Constant reports that E-1 would “cut off” the Palestinian Authority are patent lies because highways connect Arab villages and cities in all directions.

It has been a political ping-pong ball within Israel, with nationalists such as Ariel fighting tooth and nail for Israel to stand up and take a position that the mostly vacant 4.5 square mile area, which is part of the city of Maaleh Adumim, will be a home for Jews, sooner and not later.

Almost everyone except the Obama administration knows that it will happen. Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas once upon a time may have had little hope that he could prevent E-1 from being developed, but the Obama administration has effectively become his spokesman and is dead set against its development.

The Bush administration gets the first “credit” for opposing construction in E-1 after President George W. Bush came out with his “Roadmap Plan,” which eventually fell off a cliff, a better result than the Oslo Accords that literally exploded in Israel’s collective face.

The saga of E-1 is a prime example of why Israel cannot depend on promises from the United States. President Ronald Reagan once wrote Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a letter that promised recognition of Israel’s right to build there. The promise was not a legal document, and its worth was only as long as Reagan was in office. The Obama adminstration has said it is not committed by the letter.

It was none other than Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, whose memory has been defaced into an image of Peace Now, who in 1994 provided Maaleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel with documents to make E-1 an official part of the city.

Nearly 30 years later, all that Israel has built on E-1 is a police station. The Arabs have woken up and have sent Bedouin families to dot the area so they can tell foreign and local reporters how they have been living on the land for centuries.

E-1 has been a toy, or pawn, for Prime Minister Netanyahu.

He has defied nationalists and has toed the line in Washington to keep the bulldozers out of the area.

True, after Abbas went to the United Nations last November to upgrade the PA’s status in the General Assembly to that of a non-member state, Netanyahu unleashed the E-1 pawn and announced plans to build 5,000 residential units there.

So much for hot air.

Not a single house has been built there. In fact, Netanyahu inflicted an unannounced building freeze on almost all of Judea and Samaria until last month, one hour after Israel freed the second batch of terrorists in the four-step program to release 104 murderers in return for the privilege of officially arguing with the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu’s policy on E-1 sounds like a broken record.

In January 2009, Netanyahu secretly promised President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Israel would not build in E-1, according to an Al Jazeera report in 2011.

Netanyahu, of course, denied the report, prompting Maaleh Adumim Mayor Kashriel to demand that the Prime Minister “order the defense minister to submit the master plan for the neighborhood immediately and progress with development on site, as former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did during his tenure.”

Post-Election Construction: Will It Happen?

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Now that the elections in Jerusalem are over, and with murderous Palestinian terrorists having been freed from prison, there seems to be an across-the-board desire to resume Jewish construction in the capital. The question is: Will this new enthusiasm last long enough for tractors to actually start work?

Prime Minister Netanyahu, under whose watch Jewish construction in the outlying areas of the Holy City has ground to a resounding halt, let it be known that together with last week’s release of killers from prison, he will initiate construction in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (Yesha). And in fact, the Housing Ministry announced this week plans for 1,000 new housing units in large Yesha towns – though not in the smaller ones that need it most – and 700 more in Jerusalem.

Specifically, Gilo, Har Homa and Ramat Shlomo – among the Jerusalem neighborhoods liberated from Jordanian control during the Six-Day War – are scheduled to gain hundreds of apartments. In Yesha, the 1,030 new units will be distributed among Elkanah, Beitar Illit, Karnei Shomron, Maaleh Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, Adam, and Ariel (in descending order).

It is said that Netanyahu’s sudden benevolence is an attempt to offset the popular resentment and anger at his government’s release of terrorist murderers. Fifty-two such killers have already been freed in the framework of the ongoing negotiations with the Palestinian Authority – half the total set to be freed as the talks proceed.

This could be a case of getting hit with the fish, paying for it, and having to eat it in any event. For one thing, the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party doesn’t accept the gesture. “Don’t do us any favors,” party officials told Netanyahu. “Don’t release terrorists and don’t build.”

The Yesha Council of Jewish Communities responded similarly: “Releasing terrorists is a terrible mistake both morally and politically. We object even if it is bound up with decisions to build.”

In addition, the PA used the occasion to attack Israel for “sabotaging” the talks and violating their pre-conditions, and its top negotiator even announced his resignation. Though their accusations are totally false – Israel agreed beforehand with U.S. Secretary of State Kerry that no restrictions would apply to Israeli construction during the talks – the international damage to Israel’s reputation has been done.

And in the end, who says the construction will actually ever happen? In the face of international condemnation, it could very well be that the building plans – so necessary for the vitality of Israel’s economy, both inside and outside of Yesha – will go the way of last month’s Hebron announcement: Following a murderous terrorist attack, Netanyahu announced that Jews would be allowed to populate the Jewish-owned Beit HaMachpelah building – and the next day the decision was reversed.

On the municipal level, newly reelected mayor Nir Barkat gave a nod towards the nationalist camp when he said, “I believe we must build [in Jerusalem]; we dare not hesitate. If it were up to us [in the municipality], we would run with it.” He specifically mentioned Gilo, Har Homa, Pisgat Ze’ev – all liberated in 1967 – and other neighborhoods.

Barkat’s political opponents don’t take his pledge very seriously, however. Housing Minister Uri Ariel blames him not for not building, but for not protesting: “It’s the fault of my boss,” he told a crowd of supporters, referring to the prime minister’s construction halt, “but why don’t we see Barkat making an outcry?”

Ariel and Barkat actually agree that there must be no linkage between building in the capital and a possible diplomatic agreement with the PA. “The very attempt to [make an agreement dependent on not building] is the true obstacle,” Barkat said. Ariel was even more pointed, saying:

“Can you imagine any other country forbidding Jews to build houses? We would all run out to the streets to cry out and protest – but here it passes quietly… Netanyahu is not even allowing us to make zoning plans. The construction permits of today are from two years ago. The few hundred new units we obtained are far from enough! We need a minimum of 4,000 new units in Jerusalem each year.”

According to the PA-sympathetic Ir Amim organization, last year saw a record number of tenders issued for housing units in post-1967 neighborhoods – a grand total of 2,386. Keep in mind that this brings up the average number for the past 11 years to the grand total of 877 – quite a bit less than the 4,000 Minister Ariel demands.

Gaza Terrorists Attack Israel with Mortar Shells

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Terrorists from Gaza attacked southern Israel Sunday afternoon with two mortar shells, but the government and the IDF have not commented. No damage or injuries were reported.

The attacks may have been timed with the expected release of more terrorists this week as part of the four-stage plan Israel announced in July to free 104 terrorists in return for the privilege of Israeli negotiators sitting down to talk with their Palestinian Authority counterparts.

Hamas, which rules Gaza, would like nothing more than to embarrass the rival Fatah movement, headed by the Obama administration’s peace partner known as Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and cause casualties on the Israeli side that might abort the second stage of the plan.

The military policy, dictated by the Defense Ministry, has been to “retaliate” for every mortar attack by bombing a weapon storage depot or a tunnel, leaving a few hundred other “terror sites” remaining. After all, if Israel were to knock all of them out, what could the IDF do next time around when Hamas or Islamic Jihad terrorists strike the country with missiles and mortar shells? Invading Gaza or bombing areas where terrorists hang out among civilians would be considered a “disproportionate” response.

That strategy goes by the boards if, God forbid, one of those mortar shells or Kassam missiles explodes on a kindergarten.

But as long as that does not happen, Israelis living in the Gaza Belt region continue to be victims of the government’s version of Russian roulette.

In between the mortar shell and Kassam rocket attacks, there is no scarcity of attempts to kill soldiers. The IDF last week prevented a possible mass casualty attack when soldiers discovered a large roadside bomb that was intended to be detonated as a vehicle drove by. Army sappers neutralized the explosives, and no one was hurt.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not want to rock the boat right now and punish Hamas, face an escalation in terrorist attacks and then risk a suspension of the talks, which are being conducted under the misguided hand of President Barack Obama’s personal Middle East envoy Martin Indyk.

The Prime Minister is dead-set to go through with the second round of freeing terrorists even though it has all of the right reasons not do so. The Cabinet agreed in July to spread out the release of terrorists to test the Palestinian Authority’s ability and intentions to preserve the peace, at least until all of the terrorists are safely home where they can return to terror.

Since the start of the talks, terrorists have murdered four Israelis and tried to murder several others, including a nine-year-old girl.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Cabinet Sunday morning, “We have to honor government decisions even if it is difficult and unpleasant; we can’t constantly change our stance.”

But which promise? No, not the promise that Abbas keep up his end of the agreement.

The only promise that Israel has to keep is the one that Netanyahu made to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to resume the so-called negotiations.

There is one other promise that Netanyahu may keep, although almost a year late. He said earlier this year than 3,000 more homes would be built for Jews in Judea and Samaria and in parts of Jerusalem that Abbas wants to turn into the capital of a Palestinian Authority state without any Jewish residents.

To this date, zero new homes have been built in PA-claimed Jerusalem, Efrat, Maaleh Adumim, Kiryat Arba, Beitar Illit and other cities. There have been announcements of new homes, which is good material to keep the nationalists in line, but facts on the ground equal zilch.

In the horse trading that reduces the human factor to a piece of paper on which Abbas can sign another agreement to be tossed in the waste can , Netanyahu is prepared to start building homes in return for freeing terrorists.

Once upon a time, Israel negotiated with terrorists by killing them.

Then, Israel started trading them for a handful of Israelis who had been kidnapped.

And the Olmert government under the leaderless Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, agreed to release heavy-duty terrorists for corpses of IDF soldiers.

Two years ago, the Netanyahu government freed 1,000 terrorists for the release of a single soldier, Gilad Shalit.

Report: PepsiCo Offered $2B for ‘Settlements’ Labeled SodaStream

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

With SodaStream, we could have saved 500 million bottles on Game Day alone. If you love the bubbles set them free.”

PepsiCo is negotiating with Israeli-based SodaStream to buy out the firm for $2 billion, according to the Israeli Calcalist business newspaper. SodaStream’s shares in Germany shot up nearly 20 percent after the report.

SodaStream, listed on NASDAQ, manufactures machines that make carbonated drinks from tap water and also produces flavors, carbon dioxide refills and re-usable bottles.

Officials at the two companies refused to comment on the report or were not available.

SodaStream has become a big hit in the United States, where the company “stole the show” with its commercials during the Super Bowl this year, drawing bitter complaints from carbonated beverage companies, which applied pressure to CBS for SodaStream to tone down its message  that buying carbonated beverages in plastic bottles is bad for the environment. Pepsi and Coke also did not like the idea of SodaStream making fun of their companies, and the original version of the commercial was canned but can be seen below

A buyout by PepsiCo, or possibly by Coca Cola if SodaStream wants to try for a larger purchase, could place the company’s facility in Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem, in jeopardy.

Soda Stream is a favorite target of the Boycott Israel movement because of the plant’s location beyond the old borders of Israel. The rub, as Lori Lowenthal Marcus explained in an article Tuesday night, is that SodaStream’s American-born CEO Daniel Birnbaum promotes hiring and treating Palestinian Authority Arabs just like Jews.

Both Arab and Jews share the company dining hall in Maaleh Adumim, and there are facilities for both Muslim ands Jews to pray.

The Maaleh Adumim factory employs approximately 900 Arabs from Judea and Samaria. “Everyone works together – Palestinians, Russians, Jews,” a Palestinian employee named Rasim at the Maaleh Adumim site previously has been quoted as saying. “Everything is OK. I always work with Jews. Everyone works together, so of course we’re friends.”

The report of a possible buyout sent the shekel-dollar rate down approximately half a percentage point, to below 3.65 shekels to the dollar, because of the possible injection of $2 billion worth of shekels.


Lapid Unintentionally Helps Right with Bid for ‘Interim PA Pact’

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Yair Lapid, Israel’s Finance Minister and head of Israel’s second largest political party, has unraveled U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to reincarnate the “peace process” before Kerry even packed his bags for another trip to Israel at the end of the week.

He told the Yediot Acharonot newspaper Sunday what everyone except Kerry and the European Union’s Catherine Ashton know – it is unrealistic even to think about a final stage peace agreement for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as an independent country.

It is questionable if even Kerry’s boss, President Barack Obama, actually thinks an agreement is in the cards.

Maybe, just maybe, Obama has learned what Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush never seemed to grasp – the Palestinian Authority will make peace with Israel only when it is sure that the Jewish state’s future is doomed.

That is why PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas refuses to budge on the Arab world’s dream to import several million Arabs to Israel, based on their claim that Israel is their home because their parents, grandparents, great-great parents and their dogs lived here.

The Oslo Accords, Clinton’s time bomb that fulfilled his promise to create a new Middle East, although not exactly the way he envisioned, provided for interim borders for a Palestinian Authority state, with final borders to be negotiated.

Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in one of her many less enlightened moments, agreed that maybe it was best to simply skip over that little clause and go for broke.

And the “peace process’ since then indeed went broke.

Correctly perceiving that there was no need to concede anything except uncertainty, Abbas re-defined the word “negotiations” to mean “you give and I take,” with the only undecided issue being the date that Israel will supposedly sign its own death certificate.

The term “interim agreement” is no where in his lexicon. It is buried deep, deep under the “peace process,” and here comes Lapid, the last hope for the center-left to keep those pesky national religious Jews from getting too uppity, to the rescue of the right wing nationalists.

He also displayed remarkable honesty and lack of tact at the same by stating that Abbas “is still not psychologically ready for an agreement with Israel, either partial or full.”

That is the kind of statement that sounds like it is right out of the mouth of Avigdor Lieberman, who was foreign minister before he was indicted six months ago for breach of public trust.

It did not take long for Abbas, through an aide,  to react to Lapid’s statements, which reflect either amazing naïveté for a former journalist or just plain stupidity.

“We have heard this idea before and rejected it simply because we know the intention of Israel is to continue building on Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank,” stated Nimr Hamad, one of Abbas’ sages in Ramallah. Just in case Lapid does not understand, Hamad added that final borders are “the most important thing for us.”

With the United Nations General Assembly already having adopted a resolution recognizing the borders of a Palestinian Authority state exactly as Abbas wants them, talk of an interim agreement can only convince Abbas that Lapid is a nationalist is in disguise.

Lapid is part of an overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews who are not willing to hand over such areas as the Old City on Jerusalem to Abbas.

Abbas could save himself from virtually isolation by the Obama administration if he accepts the idea of interim borders, but to do so would be political suicide, if not a sign of a real-life death wish.

He has dug himself into a hole by promising and promising and promising the PA “street” that he will get everything he wants, lock, stock and barrel.

The joker in the cards is Lapid’s statement Sunday that President Obama could set a three-year time limit for defining final borders while carrying out Bush’s written promise to Israel that such as areas as Gush Etzion and Maaleh Adumim would remain part of Israel.

He also wants to put aside the issues of Jerusalem and the Arab demand for importing millions of foreign Arabs into Israel. Abbas has rejected that idea time and time again.

Report: Kerry Won Five-Week Unofficial Building Freeze from Bibi

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been quietly enforcing a de facto building freeze on all construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria and areas in Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

The Prime Minister promised U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to curtail construction for Jews until mid-June to give PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas time to fulfill his condition for a return to face-to-face negotiations with Israel.

Army Radio reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu told Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who lives in  the Judea and is a senior member of the Jewish Home party, to suspend publishing tenders for 3,000 residential housing units, including those to advance plans and construction of homes in the E-1 area of Maaleh Adumim.

Ariel insisted there has been no building freeze but added that the Prime Minister has delayed progress for new building, and he referred reporters to the Prime Minister, who arrived in China Sunday for a six-day visit.

Netanyahu’s reported agreement to a five-week freeze, much shorter than the 10-month freeze announced in September 2010, might be a gamble that Kerry will not be able to convince Abbas to resume direct talks with Israel.

There have been no real discussions since the 2010 building freeze, which Abbas demanded before resuming negotiations and then refused because it did not include a freeze in eastern, southern and northern Jerusalem, and did not cover public building in Judea and Samaria.

The E-1 area has become red line for both Abbas and Netanyahu. Any building activity there would infuriate Abbas and win him more support to continue to place the Palestinian Authority on various United Agencies.

If Israel were to even offer a hint to surrender the area, the Jewish Home party would probably pull out of the coalition, and it is doubtful if Likud-Beiteinu would agree to continue to rule with a new coalition that would include the Labor party.

However, Israel desperately needs an approved government budget for this year, and any party that forces new elections without a budget is liable to be severely punished at the polls.

Someone is going to have to climb down from the limb.

If Abbas misses another opportunity to miss an opportunity and starts demanding more conditions, Kerry and Netanyahu can walk away from the tree and leave him hanging there.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/report-kerry-won-five-week-unofficial-building-freeze-from-bibi/2013/05/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: