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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Shechem’

IDF, Shin Bet Captures Hamas Cell in Shechem (Nablus) [video]

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

The General Security Service (Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency) announced Thursday that a Hamas terrorist cell was arrested in a joint operation with other security forces.

The group was planning to carry out suicide bombings and shooting attacks aimed at civilians and major population centers in Israel. Most of the detainees have served time in the past for security offenses.

The Shin Bet said that 20 Hamas operatives were arrested in the sting following a months-long operation in the area around Shechem (Nablus). Security officials added that the cell also intended to carry out roadside shootings in Judea and Samaria.

From May to August 2016, the cell operated an explosives laboratory in Shechem, producing about seven kilograms of TATP explosive material used to create bombs intended for use in suicide operations in Jerusalem and Haifa and at various bus stops. Members of the group also purchased M-16 assault rifles.

TATP explosives, bombs and other weaponry seized in joint sting by Shin Bet and IDF at Hamas lab in Shechem.

TATP explosives, bombs and other weaponry seized in joint sting by Shin Bet and IDF at Hamas lab in Shechem.

“Our investigation unearthed a well-organized, structured Hamas cell,” the Shin Bet said in a statement. “Had the cell not been discovered, it would have carried out very severe terror attacks. Thanks to excellent intelligence and the joint operations of Shin Bet and IDF forces, the cell was discovered in time.

“Once again, we see the efforts that Hamas is investing into creating a terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria in order to carry out attacks against Israelis,” the statement continued. “This large-scale Hamas cell has been operating in the area of Shechem (Nablus).

Andrew Friedman and TPS contributed content to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

Killing Out Shechem

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

In this week’s parshah we read of the incident involving Dina and Shechem, the son of Chamor and nasi of the city of Shechem. Upon learning that Dina was abducted by Shechem, Shimon and Levi devised a plan to killed all the male residents of the city, including Shechem and Chamor. There are various opinions that explain the rational of Shimon and Levi in killing all the inhabitants of the city.

The Rambam (Hilchos Melachim 9:14) says one of the seven commandments that Bnei Noach are obligated to follow is to set up a judicial system that will judge people who transgress any of the mitzvos that Bnei Noach are required to follow. It is also the role of these courts to carry out punishment when a Ben Noach transgresses. The punishment of a Ben Noach for transgressing any of their mitzvah obligations is sa’yif (decapitation). If a Ben Noach witnesses a transgression by another Ben Noach, he must bring him to judgment. If he doesn’t, the witness is deserving of punishment for not enacting judgment on the transgressor. The Rambam concludes that it is for this reason that the entire population of the city of Shechem deserved death, for they all knew that Shechem kidnapped Dina, and did not bring him to judgment. Therefore they were all guilty of not enacting judgment, and deserved death.

The Ramban disagrees with the Rambam and asks the following questions: If everyone in the city was guilty and deserved the death penalty, then why did Yaakov Avinu not kill them himself? And if he was afraid of them, why did he disapprove of Shimon and Levi’s actions? After all, they believed in Hashem and did what was right. Additionally, the Ramban disagrees that a Ben Noach is to be killed when he does not bring another to judgment; since it is a positive commandment and Bnei Noach are only killed when they transgress a negative commandment.

The Ramban therefore writes that the residents of Shechem in fact deserved death, but for other reasons. He says that all of the nations of Canaan worshiped idols and transgressed with arayos (immoral relations) and performed many other sins deserving of death. However, Yaakov believed that the penalty for these actions was not for Shimon and Levi to carry out. Additionally, Yaakov knew that they did not kill them for this reason, but rather out of retaliation for what happened to Dina. Thus he disapproved, and scorned them for acting out their anger.

The Ramban adds that although Yaakov knew that when his sons told Shechem and Chamor to circumcise the entire city that they were not intending on actually marrying in with this city. However, he did not object because he thought that they would only use this ploy to rescue Dina and then leave. Indeed while this was the intention of the other Shevatim, Shimon and Levi intended to take further action.

According to the Rambam we can better understand why Shimon and Levi did not kill the women of Shechem. The Rambam writes (Hilchos Melachim 9:14) that a woman cannot testify against, or judge, a ben Noach. Therefore the women of the city were not guilty of not trying Shechem, since there was nothing they could have done about it. However, according to the Ramban that they only killed them out of retaliation, it is not clear why Shimon and Levi did not kill the female inhabitants of the city.

Perhaps they felt that in order to achieve retaliation it would suffice to only kill the male inhabitants. Additionally, this may have been an indication to Yaakov Avinu that they were acting solely out of retaliation and not to carry out the penalty that was due them, since they deserved death as well.

The Ramban said that although the residents of Shechem and the rest of Canaan deserved the death penalty, it was not incumbent on Yaakov or his sons to carry out the judgment. It is apparent from the abovementioned Rambam that he disagrees with this point. Indeed the Rambam (Hilchos Melachim 10:11) explicitly writes that the beis din of Yisrael is obligated to arrange judges for the geri toshavim that will judge them according to their laws, unless they see that they have their own judges.

The Maharam Shik (Orach Chaim 142) writes that according to this Rambam, beis din in Eretz Yisrael has an obligation to establish courts for the geri toshavim, comprised of either fellow geri toshavim or Jewish judges. Outside Ertetz Yisrael, beis din does not have this obligation. But if beis din wishes to establish a court system in order to maintain the correct lifestyle, they have this right – and are “zocheh la’shamayim.”

Therefore, if Yaakov Avinu and his sons knew that the residents of Shechem were guilty and deserving death, and there was no court that would try them for their crime, they were obligated to establish a court and exact judgment on them. And even if the residents of Shechem were not geri toshavim, Yaakov and his sons would nonetheless have the right to establish a court to judge them.

Rabbi Raphael Fuchs

Israel Conserves Seal of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Builder of the Jaffa Clock Tower

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

The familiar seal of sultan Abdul Hamid II, builder of Jaffa’s clock tower, is once again on display on the city’s famous landmark.

Over the past year, Jaffa’s clock tower has undergone conservation measures and engineering reinforcement implemented by the Ezra u-Biratzon Company of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality. In the course of the project it became apparent that the original marble seal (tughra) bearing the symbol of Sultan Hamid Abdul II (ruler of the Ottoman Empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) was in bad need of preservation. Not only had the marble long since lost its original color and it was no longer possible to identify the relief on it, but the seal’s plaque, located 36 ft. above the sidewalk, was in danger of collapsing. The marble was cracked and partly detached from the wall, and its surface was crumbling.

The marble plaque bearing the sultan’s seal after conservation.

The marble plaque bearing the sultan’s seal after conservation.

This seal, located on the southern side of the tower, was the last original seal out of a total of four to be preserved on the structure. In 2001, three glass replicas adorned with the sultan’s seal were installed there in place of the marble plaques that did not survive. Conservators at the Israel Antiquities Authority who examined the last original marble seal that remained on the tower determined that its critical condition required it be saved. Tt was detached from the wall using chisels and transferred to the conservation laboratory in Jerusalem. There, conservator Mark Avrahami performed the conservation and restoration work: a new support for the seal was created, the seal, which had faded completely, was accentuated utilizing pigments, and upon completion of the work, the marble plaque was returned to its original location two weeks ago.

Faina Milstein, the IAA conservation architect in Old Jaffa, said in a statement: “The clock tower, which is in the center of what is today Clock Square, was built next to Jaffa’s monumental sites: the Qishla – the Ottoman period police station, and the Saraya – the Turkish government house. More than one hundred clock towers were constructed throughout the Ottoman Empire in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, of which six clock towers are in Israel: at Jaffa, Acre, Jerusalem, Haifa, Tsfat and Shechem. A seventh tower, which may not have been a clock tower, is located in Nazareth.”

According to Dr. Yoav Arbel, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The tughra first appeared as the seal of the second Ottoman sultan, Orhan (1326-1362 CE) and has since represented the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the kingdom itself. The tughra is a monogram that incorporates the sultan’s name, his titles, his father’s name and blessings, along with symbolic characteristics of the Ottoman Empire. It served as the sultan’s official seal for use on documents, public buildings, coins etc.”

The tughra also appears at the top of the Qishla, near the clock tower, and above the impressive sabil (a public fountain) called Suleiman’s sabil, in front of the city gate, which was also treated in recent years by the conservators of the IAA.

JNi.Media

Earliest Ten Commandments Tablet On Auction in Beverly Hills

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

The earliest-known stone inscription of the Ten Commandments will be offered Nov. 16, 2016 by Heritage Auctions in the Living Torah Museum Auction in Beverly Hills, California, Art Daily reported Tuesday. The tablet is the centerpiece of an offering of Bible-related historical artifacts, researched and authenticated, property of the Living Torah Museum in Brooklyn, NY. The opening bid on the Ten Commandments is $250,000.

David Michaels, Director of Antiquities for Heritage Auctions, suggested “there is nothing more fundamental to our shared heritage than the Ten Commandments.” The two-foot-square marble slab, inscribed in early Hebrew script, probably came from a synagogue destroyed by the Romans between 400 and 600 CE, or by the Crusaders in the 11th century, according to Michaels.

Weighing about 200 pounds, the slab of marble is chiseled with 20 lines of script, in Hebrew and Aramaic. After an introductory dedication and invocation, it lists nine of the ten commonly known Biblical Commandments from the Book of Exodus, omitting the “You will not take the name of God in vain,” and adding instead a commandment commonly cited by the Samaritan sect, calling on the worshippers to “raise up a temple” on Mount Gerizim, sacred to the Samaritans, near the city of Shechem.

Bidders are required to agree to place the object on public exhibition, as per a stipulation by the Israel Antiquities Authority, which designated the artifact a “National Treasure” of Israel.

Samaria was the home to of the Samaritan sect, known by Jewish tradition as the “converts by lions,” based on an account of their forced immigration under Assyrian rule from an unknown origin, and their embrace of the local Jewish God for protection from the lions that roamed their new habitat.

Scholars who studied the carved letters believe the stone was carved in the late Roman or Byzantine era, circa 300-500 CE, to adorn the entrance to a Samaritan synagogue.

The discovery of the Ten Commandments Stone was reported in 1947 by Y. Kaplan, the stone’s owner at the time, and Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, later Israel’s second President (1952-1963). It was first uncovered in 1913 during excavations for a railroad station near Yavneh, Israel, and was acquired by an Arab who set it in the floor of his courtyard. Over many years, foot traffic wore down some of the letters at the center of the slab, although the forms are still discernible.

In 1943, the stone was acquired by Kaplan, who brought in Dr. Ben-Zvi and other scholars to study it. Antiquities dealer Robert Deutsch purchased it in the 1990s, and Rabbi Saul Deutsch obtained it for his Living Torah Museum in 2005. It has been the centerpiece of the Museum’s collection since then and was subsequently published in Biblical Archaeology Review magazine and other publications.

Although considered a “National Treasure” of Israel, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) approved its export the US in 2005 on condition that it be displayed in a public museum. “We seek either an institutional buyer or a private one who will agree to exhibit the 10 Commandments Stone so that all can see, enjoy and learn from it,” Michaels told Art Daily.

The Living Torah Museum auction will include at least 50 other artifacts from the museum’s collection, including a nine-spouted ceramic oil lamp dated to the first century CE that is regarded by some experts as the earliest known first Hanukkah menorah, Michaels said.

JNi.Media

Tel Aviv Court Sentences Killer of IDF Sgt. Almog Shiloni to Life in Prison

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

The Arab terrorist who murdered 20-year-old Israeli Air Force Sgt. Almog Shiloni of Modi’in was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday by the Tel Aviv District Court.

Nur al-Din Abu Hashayeh was convicted for the murder a few months ago. Hashayeh was age 18 when he left his home in Shechem to infiltrate into Israel the day before stabbing Shiloni to death.

He told investigators during interrogation that he traveled to the site with the specific goal of killing an Israeli soldier in order to become a shahid, an Islamic martyr. In this way he knew he could earn a generous monthly salary for his family from the Palestinian Authority government and also would gain eternal fame as well. It is likely the killer succeeded in gaining a generous monthly stipend for his family from the Ramallah government, which pays the families of convicted Arab terrorists imprisoned in Israel in accordance with a scale rated to the severity of the attack, the number of victims and length of the prison sentence.

Hashayeh carried out his attack at midday in the HaHaganah train station in south Tel Aviv on November 10, 2014; he used a large kitchen knife to stab the young officer repeatedly and then tried to steal his M-16 military rifle before fleeing the scene.

Shiloni died of his wounds within a few hours. An estimated 1500 people came to escort the soldier to his final resting place.

Hashayeh was caught and then indicted for the murder by Israeli prosecutors the day after the attack, right after the young soldier died.

Hana Levi Julian

UN Report on Failed Gaza, PA Governments: It’s All Israel’s Fault

Monday, September 5th, 2016

If a visitor from outer space were to read the new Report of the “United Nations Conference on Trade and Development assistance to the Palestinian people: Developments in the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory” to be issued Tuesday, they would have walked away with an image of a nation of industrious, democratic, peace-loving people named the “Palestinians” who are intentionally and on a daily basis prevented from thriving and achieving the economic success they so richly deserve by a cruel and capricious Israeli occupation that sets out to torpedo every shred of goodness those peaceful folks manage to sustain.

This horrifying image is only enhanced by the fact that this report comes from the principal organ of the UN General Assembly dealing with trade, investment, and development issues. The organization’s goals are to: “maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis.”

With that in mind, here is the opening paragraph of the Executive summary of the UNCTAD report, meaning the gist of whatever else comes below:

“In 2015, Israel withheld Palestinian fiscal revenue for four months, donor aid declined and Israeli settlements continued to expand into the Occupied Palestinian Territory, while poverty and unemployment remained high. The Occupied Palestinian Territory continued to be a captive market for exports from Israel, while occupation neutralized the potential development impact of donor aid. Genuine reconstruction has yet to take off in the Gaza Strip despite $3.5 billion in donor pledges. Gaza’s socioeconomic conditions worsened and the infant mortality rate increased for the first time in 50 years.”

It’s an executive summary, so one cannot argue that so many of these assertions are being lumped together out of context. And yet, for a report that should provide an overview of the economic and social situation in the PA and Gaza to cite the withholding of revenues without mentioning that Israel was forced to freeze those funds after the PA had accumulated half a billion dollars in unpaid electric bills; and for the same executive summary to make the construction of a smattering of Jewish apartment units as a top-level cause for Arab decline — signals the point of view and general inclination of the authors.

You’re welcome to read the entire report if you wish. We went looking for those items that best reflect how the report turns facts and figures on their head to come up with the preconceived conclusion: it’s all the fault of the Israeli occupation, and once Israel is out of the picture you’ll see how those Palestinians will become Switzerland of the Middle East.

UN Blames Israel for Unemployment

Take, for instance, item 5, dealing with Arab unemployment. In 2015, the unemployment rate in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” was 26%, compared with 12% in 1999.

What happened in 1999? Well, for some unknown reason, there was an Israeli “tightening of restrictions on movement and access of Palestinian labor and goods.”

What a capricious, wicked nation those Israelis must be. Of course, 1999-2000 marked the eruption of the second intifada, which made the current plague of shooting, stabbing, car ramming and stone and firebomb throwing look like a day at the fair. Israeli employers were done with hiring Arabs from the PA and Gaza who would turn on them one morning and slash their throat, thank you very much. Israel imported foreign labor from Asia, and other migrants started cutting through the border illegally in the Sinai, and the Arabs were pushed out of the Israeli labor market. God is in the context.

UN Blames Israel for PA Arabs Wanting to Work for Israelis

Next, the report offers a blatant lie (Item 6): “Lack of employment opportunities in the domestic economy forces thousands of unemployed Palestinians to seek employment in Israel and in settlements in low-skill, low-wage manual activities.”

The reality is that those “lowly” jobs in Israel pay three times what the average job pays inside the PA, and if Israel only issued more work permits, those PA Arabs would have gladly abandoned their lousy jobs in Ramallah and Shechem and flooded Israel’s construction sites.

But the report is unhappy with the fact that as many as 12% of the PA Arabs find decent employment in Israel, because, let’s face it, “this forced dependence on employment in Israel and in settlements magnifies the vulnerability of the Palestinian economy to political shocks, as Israel can at any time bar Palestinian workers, even those with Israeli permits, from entering Israel and settlements.”

On that assertion, there is one surefire way to make sure Israel would never, ever bar those workers and take away their permits: if Arabs from the PA not start shooting, stabbing, car ramming and stone and firebomb throwing. It’s a scientific correlation, proven by 50 years of Israeli presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza: Arab violence leads to Arab poverty; Arab civility leads to Arab prosperity. It’s such a simple message, one must attend many anti-Semitic incitement sessions at one’s local mosque to be able to ignore it.

Israel’s Response to Arab Terror and Illegal Construction Harms the PA Economy

Here’s Item 9, which does not belong in an economic report, because it covers a negligible issue in terms of costs to the Arab economy, but it’s there to make a political point, and tell another lie: “In April 2016, the Secretary-General of the United Nations advised the Security Council that demolition of Palestinian homes and businesses in the West Bank was continuing at an alarming rate.” How alarming? “By early April, the number of Palestinian structures demolished had exceeded the total of those destroyed in 2015, displacing 840 people.”

Israel demolishes Arab homes in Area C for two reasons: illegal construction, and participation of one of the occupants in a terror attack. In terms of numbers, the vast majority of the structures are destroyed for lack of building permits. Israel is the recognized sovereign in Area C, according to the Oslo accords, and you can’t defy the sovereign power by building whatever and wherever you want. But Israel also demolishes Jewish structures in Area C, for a variety of legally contested issues, a fact that is completely ignored by the report which prefers to repeat the mantra that Israel demolished those Arab homes “while accelerated settlement activity created facts on the ground.”

Now, what was the economic effect of those 840 demolitions on the PA, whose citizens reside in Areas A and B? Probably negligible, but a point scored is a point earned.

In Item 14, UNCTAD supports the World Bank’s assessment of a problem they named “the Palestinian fiscal leakage.” What it means is that while the Arab earnings are meager and sub-standard in the PA, the PA Arabs working in Israel make triple those wages and get to keep a lot more after taxes, some of which Israel transfers to Ramallah. But the World Bank and now the UNCTAD want those PA laborers in Israel to pay higher taxes, which would go to their government. Indeed, Israel has promised to collect and transfer to Ramallah “$128 million to cover some of the losses accumulated over the years by the Authority.” That money, as the Israeli Finance Ministry explained to the Knesset Finance Committee this summer, will be coming out of the wages of PA Arabs working in Israel.

UN Blames Israel for Gaza’s Internal Problems

Now we get to what the report names, “Slow reconstruction in Gaza and disregard for the productive base.”

It has been documented by every major news outlet and at least two recent court cases in Israel that Hamas has completely usurped the $3.5 billion in donations for the digging of new terror tunnels and for rebuilding Hamas leaders’ homes destroyed in the 2014 war. It is also understood by most rational people in the world that as long as the Gaza Strip is governed by a terrorist organization whose major stated aim is to destroy the Jewish State, Israel has no choice but to impose a blockade on the free flow of goods into Gaza, because those goods would inevitably be used to prepare for the next attack on Israel.

Not on planet UNCTAD.

Item 22 states without benefit of context or recognition of regional realities: “Israel’s blockade of Gaza, in its ninth year, continues to exert a heavy toll. The population of Gaza is locked in, denied access to the West Bank and the rest of the world. … The blockade has affected Gaza’s once vibrant export sector.” Ah, those capricious Israelis and their obsession with not getting killed.

UN Report Straight Out Lies

The same item adds a nasty line: “Even people in need of medical treatment are not allowed to travel to obtain essential health care.” The author of this blatant lie should come visit Israeli hospitals in Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beer Sheva, where Gazan patients are a regular feature, including family members of top Hamas officials.

Israel Refuses to Be Annihilated

Item 23 is also about Israel’s refusal to be annihilated: “A prominent element of Israel’s restrictions on Palestinian productive activities is the dual-use list, which prohibits the importation of civilian goods deemed by Israel as potentially having other, harmful uses. The list includes essential factors of production, raw materials, agricultural fertilizers, telecommunications equipment, steel, pipes, spare parts and other capital goods.”

Yes, because Hamas engineers have skillfully turned all those highly useful items into highly murderous weapons.

The same item complains that “recently, more items have been added to the list, and the thickness of wood classified as dual-use has been reduced from 5 to 3 cm, then to 1 cm. This has far-reaching implications for Gaza’s furniture industry, among other harmful effects. Enforcement of the stringent dual-use restrictions obstructs reconstruction efforts, raises production costs and forces Palestinian firms out of business.”

Again, let Hamas officially abandon its murderous designs on Israel, let it sign a document recognizing Israel’s right to exist and watch how the Gaza Strip becomes paradise in a month. The fact is, with the right investments and without the Islamic extremists’ threat, Gaza could become as pretty and as prosperous as Sad Diego. Parts of it already are, even today.

UN Blames Israel for Gaza’s Now Rising Infant Mortality Rate

Item 25 is a tour de force of convoluted logic: “A shocking indicator of the grim situation in Gaza is the rising infant mortality rate, one of the best indicators for the health of a community. Infant mortality has risen for the first time in 50 years. The rate of neonatal mortality has also risen significantly, from 12 per 1,000 live births in 2008 to 20.3 in 2013.”

The sad truth is that Israel was investing in Judea and Samaria and Gaza infrastructure and social services to the point where they exceeded the standards in all other Arab countries. It is safe to say that had Israel continued to run those territories, today they would have been its equal in terms of social services and levels of income.

The relatively low baby mortality cited for Gaza in 2008 did not appear out of thin air — Israel, that hated occupier, pushed it on with heavy investments and years of government effort. The progressive decline in both parts of the Arab-run territories is not the result of “the occupation,” but of the utter failure of local Arab governments to manage modern state systems. We can illustrate this point:

On June 16, 1994, the Israeli Civil Administration in the Territories issued a report comparing the state of the Arab infrastructure in Judea, Samaria and Gaza in 1970 with 1990. According to that report, in 1970 Gaza had 3 community clinics. In 1990 there were 28. Each of the Israeli built Community Clinics in the Gaza Strip offered mother and child health services, family care units, and pharmacies. Several of the centers offered 24-hour a day delivery units and emergency services, and minor x-ray units.

Major renovations and/or additions were made to almost every hospital in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza since 1967. Thus, for example, Rafidiah Hospital in Shechem received a radiology center in 1987 and an out-patient department in 1988. Wattani Hospital in Shechem received an intensive care unit in 1987. Ramallah Hospital received a diagnostic radiology center in 1987 and a neo-natal and premature intensive care unit in 1986. Beit Jala Hospital received a radiology center in 1987. Hebron Hospital received an outpatient and laboratory wing in 1988. The Bethlehem Mental Hospital received a chronic care department for male patients in 1986. The dialysis department at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City was completely renovated in 1989. Khan Yunis Hospital’s surgical suite was refurbished in 1987. The Opthalmic Hospital in Gaza City was renovated and re-equipped in 1989.

And infant mortality in Gaza declined from approximately 85 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 26.1 in 1990. In Judea and Samaria, infant mortality declined from approximately 35 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1968, to 18.1 in 1991.

For comparison, in 1991 deaths per 1,000 births in Libya stood at 62, Egypt 82, Turkey 54, Iraq 66, Syria 37, Tunisia 38, Jordan 38, Lebanon 50 and Saudi Arabia 69.

Together with the decline in infant mortality, great progress was made by Israel in controlling and eliminating major childhood diseases, due mainly to immunization programs instituted since 1967. Twelve nursing schools, two of which offer BA degree programs were opened between 1971 and 1991. The numbers of both doctors and nurses more than doubled from 1967 to 1991.

Voluntary health insurance plans which were unavailable before 1967 were first offered in Judea and Samaria in 1973, and in Gaza in 1976. In 1978, a new comprehensive plan was introduced; it was automatically applied to Civil Administration workers and to area residents working in Israel and was offered to all other area residents on a voluntary basis.

Israel greatly improved and expanded sewage treatment facilities in the liberated areas. Before 1967, there were no sewage treatment plants in Judea and Samaria. Since 1967, modern installations were built in Jenin (1971), Tulkarem (1972), Ramallah (1979), and Kalkilya (1986). The first stage of the Hebron sewage treatment plant was completed in 1991. In Gaza, sewage was managed through local septic tanks. Since 1967, treatment facilities were improved and/or constructed in Gaza City, Khan Yunis, Jabalya, Rafiah, and the Shati refugee camp. Routine testing of sewage for various enteric bacteria was begun in 1981.

Judea and Samaria were recognized as malaria-free areas in 1971.

UN Report Blames Israel for Palestinian Authority’s Failure in Self-Government 

Item 37 in the UNCTAD report unwittingly makes this point: “Palestinian economic indicators have deteriorated in the last two decades, with serious ramifications for the welfare of the Palestinian people. In 1995-2014, the population grew by 3.6 per cent annually, while real GDP per capita grew by only 1 per cent. In addition, productivity failed to grow and unemployment increased by 9 percentage points to 27%.”

What else happened between 1994 and 2014?

Yes, governing of Judea, Samaria and Gaza was handed over to the local Arab leadership, which proceeded to mess things up while inciting to violence against the only country on earth that actually took the trouble to help them. With numbers like these, and the report heaps them in multicolored tables, the Arab record of self-government is nothing short of abysmal.

Naturally, UN reports that tell the world these failed regimes aren’t to blame, it’s all Israel’s fault, are not helping anyone, least of all the local Arabs who by now are telling survey takers openly they would rather live under Israeli rule or escape to Canada, whichever comes first.

JNi.Media

Kedumim’s Early Pioneers Celebrate 40 Years in Samaria

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

by Anav Silverman On Tuesday night, thousands of people gathered together to celebrate 40 years to the establishment of Samaria’s first community – Kedumim, home to over 900 families. Participants included Chief Rabbi David Lau, who spoke at the festivities, along with Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Culture Minister Miri Regev, and MK Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, among other public figures and supporters.

The celebrations also included a reunion of the original members of the Elon Moreh pioneering group, many of whom are grandparents today. Affiliated with the Gush Emunim settlement movement, the Elon Moreh pioneering group established Kedumim following the Yom Kippur War.

Led by Rabbi Menachem Felix and Benny Katzover, the young members did not immediately succeed in settling the barren Samaria hilltops. “We went up seven times, and we were removed each time,” Benny Katzover recalled of the group’s attempts to settle in the early 1970s in Sebastia, near Shechem, during an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

“But nothing could stop our spirit,” said Katzover, 68, founder and leader of the Elon Moreh community, located northeast of Shechem in northern Samaria.

At the time, the Israeli government did not support the group’s activities and the army removed the residents from Sebastia, the capital of the ancient biblical kingdom of Israel. But by their eighth attempt on Hanukkah 1975, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin compromised and allowed the settlers to stay in Samaria, with 30 families settling in Kadum, an army camp. It was the first time that Jewish inhabitants populated the rocky mountaintops of Samaria since ancient times.

Among the supporters of the Elon Moreh pioneering group was the late Ahuvia Tabekin, of Kibbutz Ein Harod, whose wife, Chava, spoke during Kedumim’s celebrations. Ahuvia, the son of Yitzhak Tabekin, the founder of the United Kibbutz Movement and a labor movement leader, strongly supported the Jewish settlement of Samaria.

“Ideology about land was different back then, even among some kibbutz members,” said Chava Tabekin, who also pointed out that Ein Harod took part in building Kedumim’s synagogue – the first synagogue to be built in Samaria. “Ahuvia supported Kedumim from its inception. He was a member of both Kibbutz Ein Harod and a resident of Kedumim.”

Other early pioneers of Kedumim remembered the difficult beginnings. “When we first came to Kedumim, everything was barren and the conditions were very hard,” Nurit Ben-Menachem Graus, 67, told TPS.

Graus, who grew up in Tel Aviv and was the first teacher in Kedumim, said that she and her husband came to Samaria 40 years ago out of ideology. “There was no water, no electricity,” she said. “We came because this is the land of our forefathers.”

“All my children and grandchildren live in Samaria today,” said Graus. “We made history happen.”

Chana Gofer told TPS that she and her family came to Kedumim in August 1979. “There were only 40 families at the time, and we arrived with 40 more families, following Menachem Begin’s promise to settle the heartland of Israel. Kedumim doubled its population within one night,” recalled Gofer, whose has grown children living in Samaria today.

“Today we have over 400,000 Jewish residents living in Judea and Samaria,” said Yigal Dilmoni, the deputy head of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria to TPS. “It’s amazing how 40 people paved the way and completely transformed the reality of Judea and Samaria – to one where we have 200 thriving communities today.”

“We are here in their merit.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kedumims-early-pioneers-celebrate-40-years-in-samaria-2/2016/09/01/

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