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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian Authority’

Arab Teens Arrested in Bethlehem for Terror Activity

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Israeli security forces have arrested a cell of Palestinian Authority teenagers suspected of attacking Jewish worshipers and security forces at Rachel’s Tomb, in northern Bethlehem, police announced Thursday morning.

The seven suspects, all residents of Aida refugee camp located adjacent to the site, are suspected of throwing rocks and improvised pipe bombs towards the prayer site on several occasions in recent months. Police say the suspects, all aged 16 and 17, produced the explosives, planned and carried out the terror attacks by themselves. The pipe bombs were thrown from an area under full Palestinian Authority control (‘Area A’).

While the attacks caused no casualties, they caused extensive damage to the site and endangered worshipers. The compound is commonly believed to be the burial place of the Biblical matriarch Rachel.

Police and Border Police forces arrested all seven cell members during the past week. The last three arrests took place on Wednesday night. Police claimed that the suspects admitted to participating in many attacks on Israelis at Rachel’s Tomb.

The investigation also revealed that the cell members had learned how to assemble the explosives from the internet. They purchased the materials themselves, assembled the pipe bombs and would then gather together near Rachel’s Tomb mainly on Friday afternoons. After hurling the explosives and throwing rocks they would return to their village.

The suspects’ remand has been extended at a military court, and three were arraigned on Wednesday. Police said the investigation is ongoing, and that more arrests are expected.

In a related story, IDF forces discovered and seized two pipe bombs overnight in Nur Shams, an Arab village near Tulkarem in Samaria. In the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan, troops discovered and confiscated weapon parts found inside a house.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Final Obama Battle Waged Against Amona Jews

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The new, and, God Willing, final confrontation between the departing Obama Administration and the still ticking Netanyahu government appears to center on Amona, located on a hill overlooking Ofra in Benjamin Region, at the heart of the liberated territories.


Amona was founded in 1995, and has 200-plus residents — 50-plus families. Amona’s very name is a densely packed tale of occupations: it is mentioned in the Book of Joshua 18:24 as Kfar HaAmmonai, meaning Village of the Amonites, but the Amonite kingdom was well to the east of the Jordan River, so that when the Israelite tribe of Benjamin took it over, it actually liberated it from foreign occupation. A dozen or so conquests later, Amona was initially redeemed and rebuilt in 1995, not as a community but as an archeological site and the location of the Mekorot national water company’s containers. In 1996, the head of the regional council, with the support of the defense ministry, placed three caravans with young people from Ofra on the Amona hill, for strategic purposes.

Since then, and until 2005, a succession of Israeli governments invested in Amona’s infrastructure and encouraged its settlement by young families, mostly from nearby Ofra. In fact, in 2001, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon encouraged the locals to start building permanent homes, into which they moved from the 30 or so caravans where they lived. In 2003, then Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu participated in the celebrations of opening the community’s first mikvah. There was no doubt that the State of Israel was sanctioning the Amona enterprise.

In 2004, the Amana residents completed construction of nine permanent homes. Then, in October 2004, the Israeli Civil Administration ordered the demolition of the same structures, based on complaints that the lands had been acquired illegally from local Arabs who used to graze their flocks there.

According to the Amona residents, the reason they can’t produce the proper registration of their land has to do with the Palestinian Authority law that penalizes anyone who sells land to Jews. Over the years, dozens of Arab real estate brokers who dared to sell to Jews, often through a straw man, have been imprisoned and even executed. The Jews of Amona claim they purchased most of the land from local Arabs, with the understanding that they would protect the sellers’ identity by not registering the sale.

In July 2005, Peace Now petitioned the Supreme Court, complaining that no demolition had been executed. And in November 2005, the destroyer of Gush Katif, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, ordered the demolition of Amona be carried out by the end of January 2006.

On February 1, 2006, local Jewish residents and a few thousand protesters, including several MKs, clashed with a force of 10,000 Police, Border Guard, and IDF troops. The cops were as brutal and cruel as Israel had ever seen. An estimated 300 Jewish protesters were injured. Young Jewish girls accused the cops of sexual assault.

Eventually, the nine newly built homes of Amona were destroyed.

In December 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the entire community of Amona had to be evacuated and their homes demolished. The court has rejected an idea by then cabinet secretary and now Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit, that in cases like Amona, where government was involved in a community’s establishment, the Arab claimant be compelled to accept market value or comparable land. Most recently, Habayit Hayehudi cabinet ministers have suggested moving the Amona residents to nearby land — and that is the move which caught the ire of the lame duck Obama Administration.


On Wednesday, in an angry press release reminiscent of the Days Secretary John Kerry was first realizing there was no Nobel Peace Prize for him for fathering a new Palestinian State, the State Department “strongly condemned” the planned Amona move, stressing it violates Israel’s promise not to build new settlements. State Department’s deputy spokesman, Mark Toner, said

“it is disheartening that while Israel and the world mourned the passing of President Shimon Peres, and leaders from the US and other nations prepared to honor one of the great champions of peace, plans were advanced that would seriously undermine the prospects for a two-state solution that he so passionately supported.”

Never mind what you do to us, look what you’re doing to Shimon!

The NY Times cited Martin Indyk, Obama’s special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and, as rumors have it, President Hillary Clinton’s next envoy for the same Sisyphean chore, who threatened, as only a Jew who passionately hates the idea of an independent and strong Israel can: “At a certain point, the administration may well decide that there needs to be consequences for what it now sees as an effort to close off the two-state solution.”

For his part, Spokesperson Toner told the State Dept. press briefing on Wednesday:

“…when we see Israel carry out this kind of action – new settlement activity, announcement of new settlement activity – that, frankly, contradicts its stated goal to have or to achieve or pursue a two-state solution, it raises serious concerns and we have to publicly and privately convey those concerns to the Government of Israel.”

Then came this from Toner:

“…with regard to the UN Security Council and any action at the UN, our position hasn’t changed. We’re always concerned, frankly, about one-sided resolutions or other actions that could be taken within the UN, and we’re always going to oppose those kinds of resolutions that we believe delegitimize Israel and undermine its security.” Then, having paid the proper lip service, Toner delivered the zinger: “But we’re going to carefully consider our future engagement, if and when we reach that point, and determine how to most effectively pursue and advance the objective that we all at least claim to share, which is that of achieving a negotiated two-state solution. That work is going to continue with our international partners and we’re going to continue to make clear when we have concerns, such as we do today, with regard to Israel’s actions. We’re going to make those concerns clear to the Israeli Government.”

Do you see the veiled threat of the US deciding to support or abstain at a UNSC unilateral vote on establishing a Palestinian State?

Netanyahu heard it, loud and clear. On Wednesday night, Israel’s Foreign Ministry (PM Netanyahu is also the Foreign Minister) issued a statement rejecting the American criticism, arguing that the construction plan the cabinet initiated a week ago does not constitute building a new settlement, and, besides, “the settlements are not the barrier to peace.”

“The 98 housing units approved for the Shiloh settlement do not constitute a new settlement,” went the statement. “These units are to be built on state-owned land in the existing settlement of Shiloh, and will not alter its municipal boundaries. These housing units are intended to provide housing to the residents of Amona who must leave their homes according to home demolition orders issued by the Supreme Court of Justice.”

The Netanyahu argument will probably not persuade Toner or Kerry and Obama for that matter. Their vision inherently encompasses Judea and Samaria as Judenrein (German for “clean of Jews”), and so the argument regarding Shiloh’s unchanged municipal boundaries is meaningless to them — they hold there shouldn’t have been a Jewish Shiloh there in the first place.

Or, as Toner put it,

“…that’s particularly why we find [Israel’s] actions so befuddling, when it takes actions such as continued settlement activity that run counter to what we’re all trying to achieve here. And so we’re going to continue to press that case to them. We have a very close and very frank and candid relationship with Israel. We’re going to continue to call it like we see it, and when we see this kind of activity that we believe is counterproductive, we’re going to say so.”

Al Quds reporter Said Arikat pressed Toner:

“You keep saying that the UN is a forum that is somehow inherently opposed to Israel, while in fact, it was created through that UN organization. But let me ask you this: I mean, if this is in occupied territory, which you acknowledge, and there are laws that pertain to the occupying power’s rights and privileges or obligations under international law, why not push forward, put your weight behind what is internationally lawful in this case, and bring Israel to bear on these issues – holding it to account?”

Toner would not say, because to actually reveal what the Administration is, presumably, planning for the day after November 8 could start WW3. But there’s no doubt that, should the US decide to support a UN vote on a two-state solution, Amona, that ancient home of the invaders from across the Jordan River, will definitely play a major role in the decision.

David Israel

Lessons from 5776, Optimism for 5777

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

As we take our leave from 5776, I would sum it up as the year that Israel discovered the correct paradigm for dealing with her adversaries.

In previous years, many believed Israel’s military superiority allowed and even obliged her to take “risks for peace.” Others believed that propping up the economies of Israel’s neighbors until they were on par with her own, while giving up land, would bring peace.

But in 5776, Israel discovered that the secret for a relatively peaceful status quo comes not from creating economic parity, giving away land or taking risks, but rather by creating economic dependence, along with the application of Israel’s military superiority.

It should be made clear that a peaceful status quo is a separate discussion from what Israel’s long term vision for the region should be — whether that solution be Israel applying phased or full sovereignty over all of Israel’s territories, a confederation with Jordan, or some other ideas not yet tested or considered.

It’s been repeatedly noted that only one of the terror attacks by PA Arabs in this recent terror wave was executed by an individual with an Israeli work permit.

Israelis have learned that no matter how much their neighbors may hate them (and by the way, not all of Israel’s neighbors close and far hate Israel), or how much incitement they absorb from Palestinian Authority TV and the Islamic preachers, their families and villages depend on the money they make from Israelis, and all of them, save one, would not dare risk that.

Which is why the Palestinian Authority tried its best to force these Arab workers to stop working in the settlements, and why it failed. (PA Arabs make three times more working for Israelis than they do working in the Palestinian Authority.)

Incidentally, Israel would probably help the future stability of Judea and Samaria by announcing it will guarantee PA police salaries should the Palestinian Authority collapse under the weight of its own incompetence and corruption or Abbas’ retirement or death.

There’s very little that creates more loyalty than a paycheck paid on time.

Despite the roadblocks set up by Israel’s High Court, 5776 concluded with Jordan signing a $10 billion gas deal with Israel, which a Jordanian official said will save Jordan $600 million a year. It’s a deal that might very well tie Jordan’s economic stability to Israel for the next 15 years, along with the fresh water that Israel provides them.

Besides natural gas, Turkey, Greece, various Arab countries, some African states, India, Russia and China are looking to purchase or enter business partnerships with Israel, to acquire Israeli technology, military experience and equipment, fresh water solutions, solar energy, agricultural know-how or simply gain access to Israeli projects.

As these countries and others become more reliant on what Israel has to offer, there will be a gradual, visible change in their public attitudes, voting in international forums, and policies towards Israel, as Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out in his speech last month before the UN General Assembly.

On the military side, this past year, the IDF finally resumed its function in actively preventing terrorism, rather than restricting itself to a reactive mode. IDF soldiers have been raiding the hornet nests in the Palestinian Authority every night, to confiscate illegal weapons and ammunition, uncover weapons factories and erode the terror networks of Hamas, the PLO, and the various Islamic Jihadi groups which expanded operations under former defense ministers Ehud Barak and Moshe Ya’alon. And, surprisingly, these IDF actions hardly provoke any international condemnation, save for criticism from Haaretz.

It was also the year Israel has actively taken on BDS, and began to beat it down, state after US state.

Obviously, all was not rosy this past year.

Thanks to the Iran deal, a revitalized Islamic Iran has been expanding its terror operations. But as Iran and their client Hezbollah try to establish terror bases on Israel’s Golan Heights’ border, Syrian Rebels are fighting those Iranian and Hezbollah terrorists on the Golan — the same rebels who are reportedly receiving much-needed medical aid from Israel.

There has been an upswing in Israeli Arabs participating in terror attacks and joining ISIS due to Islamic radicalization, incitement and propaganda, but Israel is already learning how to deal with them.

Hamas is still destroying Gaza as it continues to prepare for another round of fighting with Israel.

In the spring of 5777, Israel will celebrate 50 years since the liberation of our ancient lands of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem from the illegal Jordanian occupation. Expect the usual NGOs (under new names and old) and Israel haters to foment their venomous propaganda, and also expect fewer and fewer people, everywhere in the world, to pay attention.

There’s concern over Obama’s anticipated November surprise at the UN.

And, of course, there will be the new challenges that either candidate for US president will present to Israel.

At the JewishPress.com we believe we have reason to be optimistic.

Israel has made significant positive changes this past year, with strategic, long term ideas being implemented, already with noticeable results. 5777 will bring challenges, even difficult ones, but we believe Israel is ready for them.

Shana Tova – Have a sweet new year.

Stephen Leavitt

Holiday Closure Begins at Palestinian Authority, Gaza Crossings

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

A routine closure that takes place for each Jewish holiday begins at 00:01 am Sunday and is to continue until Tuesday night at 11:59 pm.

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown on Sunday evening and ends an hour after sundown on Tuesday night.

The length of the closure and its conditions will change only in the case of a “situational assessment,” according to the IDF Spokesperson’s office.

As always, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) will consider exceptions for ‘humanitarian cases’ and medical emergencies, the IDF said.

The closure, which takes place due to the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, is the first since June, which was carried out for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks.

Hana Levi Julian

PA Military Liaison Officer Arrested After Criticizing Abbas for Attending Peres Funeral

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

An Arab military liaison officer in the Palestinian Authority was arrested Saturday morning after criticizing PA leader Mahmoud Abbas on his personal Facebook page. Osama Mansour posted a comment slamming the PA leader for attending the funeral of Israel’s ninth President, Shimon Peres z’l, in Jerusalem on Friday.

In his outraged post, Mansour called Peres the “founder of the settlements” who caused the “continuation of Palestinian suffering” and said his was a funeral that Abbas should not have attended.

“In any case, whether he was or was not a terrorist, or was or was not responsible for the idea of ‘breaking the bones’ of the first intifada, or had or didn’t have a role in the Jenin refugee camp massacre of the Yasmin neighborhood massacre in Nablus, or whether he was or was not connected to the Qana massacre… Who is he that you are going to participate in his funeral while most of your people, who you represent, reject him?

“If you decide to participate in the funeral of the killer of our people on your own, you will have made a mistake. If you have decided based on the advice of others, then they have misled you. [There should be] no personal or friendly connection with the Occupier as long as its operations against our people continue.”

The official WAFA news agency quoted Fayez Abbas, an Arab authority in Israeli affairs, who said the PA leader’s attendance at the funeral “did a great service” for the entity.

A senior official with the Palestinian Authority told Israel Radio on Saturday that Abbas himself had no regrets, and that he believed he had sent a clear message he is a “partner for peace.”

Attending the funeral were leaders from three of the four members of the Quartet of world peacekeepers: the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations, all of whom have maintained a determined interest in restarting negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, leader of fourth member of the Quartet, called Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to convey his condolences.

Hana Levi Julian

Mahmoud Abbas, Leader of Palestinian Authority, to Attend Peres Funeral in Jerusalem

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas submitted a request to Israel on Thursday for a permit to attend the funeral of former President Shimon Peres, set for Friday.

The request was sent to the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and that of IDF Maj.-General Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). In that role, Mordechai is also commander of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.

The request was officially authorized by Netanyahu, his office said in a subsequent statement to media.

Abbas expressed his “sadness and sorrow” Wednesday in response to hearing of the elder statesman’s death, and sent a letter of condolence to his family, WAFA reported.

“Peres was a partner in making the brave peace with the martyr Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Rabin, and made unremitting efforts to reach a lasting peace from the Oslo Agreement until the final moments of his life,” Abbas wrote, according to WAFA.

The government led by Abbas, however, issued a completely opposite obituary about the 93-year-old former president, saying he was responsible for the “deaths of Palestinians” and committed “many crimes.”

Hana Levi Julian

Abbas Political Adviser Nimr Hammad, Dead at 78

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Nimr Hammad, political adviser to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, and the PA’s “ambassador” to Italy, died Thursday at the age of 78 after a “long chronic illness.”

Hammad was hospitalized at the American University Medical Center in Beirut at the time of his death. Abbas extended his condolences to the family. The late adviser is also to be buried in al-Shuhada cemetery in Beirut.

Hammad also served as the Palestinian Authority’s director of media and communications after having been directed by Abbas in 2008 to supervise the WAFA news agency and the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation.

Prior to his service with Abbas, Hammad served as political adviser to the late PLO terror chief Yasser Arafat.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/abbas-political-adviser-nimr-hammad-dead-at-78/2016/09/29/

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