Stoning attacks are continuing to plague Israeli drivers on the roads of Judea, Samaria and the Binyamin regions, especially bus drivers whose vehicles make especially tempting targets for Arab terrorists.
Israeli Bus # 162 was attacked Monday evening near the Okafim junction. The bus came under a hail of stones as it traveled along Highway 443.
None of the passengers were physically injured but the windshield of the bus was damaged.
The Judea-Samaria Hatzolah emergency response team reported a separate stoning attack aimed at a second Israeli bus that took place five minutes after the above attack was registered, near the same junction.
A similar attack had occurred at the same place just a day earlier.
Arab terrorists hurled rocks at the second bus as it traveled along the Chutzah Yehuda highway, some 300 meters from the Okafim junction.
As in the previous attack, the windshield was damaged but passengers were not physically harmed.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone call this weekend that construction in the Jewish community of Shvut Rachel is intended to provide alternative housing for the residents of Amona, who are being threatened with eviction, if no other solution is found for their situation.
Shvut Rachel is located about half an hour’s drive north of Jerusalem, in Samaria.
The two men discussed the issue of Amona and Shvut Rachel, as well as other happenings in the region.
Amona residents have been ordered to leave their homes and evacuate the community in advance of its demolition mandated by a decision of the Israel Supreme Court.
The court had determined that the town was built on private Arab land, although no one has claimed ownership of the land on which the town was built.
Israeli media report that Netanyahu has held meetings with a number of high-ranking government officials in an effort to find a legal solution that will allow the residents of Amona to remain, and to avoid such dilemmas in future, inasmuch as there are other Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria that may face similar problems
Habayit Hayehudi Chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday night announced that Israelis must make sacrifices in order to preserve the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria. Speaking in the wake of the Obama Administration’s assault on Netanyahu’s cabinet’s plan to move the residents of Amona to new homes in Shiloh, 11 miles away, Bennett said that “regarding the Land of Israel we must switch from blocking to winning.” He also promised that he and his two Religious Zionist colleagues in the cabinet are “taking responsibility for a strategic arrangement for the settlement enterprise.”
Bennett spoke at a conference in Jerusalem in memory of MK Hanan Porat, one of the founders of the Gush Emunim movement which led the National Religious wave of settlements in the newly liberated territories after the 1967 Six Day War. Habayit Hayehudi is facing an existential dilemma these days, as many of its voters have said they’d rather see their elected representatives leave the coalition government than participate in the decision to uproot the Amona residents. Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked have been advocating a permanent legal resolution of the problem of thousands of Arab claims, initiated and financed by anti-Zionist NGOs like Peace Now, with European and American funding, against existing Jewish communities across Judea and Samaria. The Habayit Hayehudi ministers prefer to work from within the Netanyahu government on legislation to compel such claimants to accept market value compensation, rather than stage a dramatic exit from the coalition.
“We should highlight the dream, and the dream is that Judea and Samaria become part of the sovereign Land of Israel,” Bennett told his audience. “We must act today and we must make sacrifices. We cannot continue to consider the Land of Israel as our tactical goal and a Palestinian State as our strategic goal.”
Bennett cited the late Hanan Porat “who said we have no right to divide the land. Not through words, nor through action, silent acquiescence, or quiet excuses. Neither by politicians nor by jurists. The path of concessions, of partition, has lost out.” He then promised that because of the people of Amona, and because of their faith and trust, “we will lead with a strategic solution to the entire settlement enterprise.”
Zionist Camp (a.k.a. Labor) MKs Tzipi Livni and Ksenia Svetlova condemned Bennnett’s vision, calling it “the nightmare of the entire people of Israel,” and accusing him of warmongering. Interestingly, current polls are showing Habayit Hayehudi leading the Zionist Camp by between two and four Knesset seats, had the elections been held today.
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.
“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.”
This week, Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria this week joined forces with the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs to promote their products as well as products from the Golan Heights at the annual IAC National Conference in Washington. Representatives of the council and ministry handed out five thousands Medjoul dates from the Jordan Valley, two hundred bottles of wine, and hundreds of samples of Ahava cosmetics and other products to conference participants.
The imitative was part of a broader plan to educate and encourage Israel supporters worldwide to buy blue and white and support businesses most threatened by the BDS campaign. Three months ago, a similar program was held in Moscow, and many more such events are anticipated worldwide in the coming months.
Oded Revivi, Chief Foreign Envoy of Yesha Council said in statement: “Israeli industrial zones in Judea and Samaria are islands of peace and coexistence where Israelis and Palestinians work together for a better future. With no political solution on the horizon, it’s time to tell the world that Israelis and Palestinians can live and work together in peace without being pushed into an agreement that neither side wants. Boycotting Israeli companies in Judea and Samaria actually harms Palestinian workers far more than the Israeli economy and is therefore and act against peace.”
While in Washington, Revivi met with more than a dozen Senators, Congressmen and staffers on Capitol Hill from both the Republican and Democrat parties, where he stressed that Yesha Council would welcome continued dialogue and cooperation with both sides of the aisle.
Yesha Council reps having lunch with Sheldon Adelson. / Courtesy
The Yesha Council delegation met privately with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and requested his assistance with new initiatives to strengthen the connection between the Jewish people and their ancestral homeland. They reported that Adelson was extremely excited to hear about a new Amazon-like Boycott website that the Council is in the process of launching. He also agreed to come on a VIP tour of the thriving Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
Revivi told Adelson that “businesses in Judea and Samaria are on the frontline of the battle against BDS, [which is] currently targeting Ariel and Efrat but their ultimate goal is the destruction of the entire Jewish State. The Yesha Council is now going on the offensive launching a new Boycott website to promote Israeli goods directly to consumers.”