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July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Sinai’

Netanyahu’s Can Do Minister Plans Gaza’s Offshore Island Harbor

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Yisrael Katz (Likud), who currently wears two ministerial hats: Transportation and Road Safety and Intelligence and Atomic Energy, has probably the most productive minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s three consecutive cabinets, being responsible for an unprecedented network of new, modern highways crisscrossing Israel and an ever-improving train service — all of which means that if he has made up his mind to carry out a project, it’s probably going to happen, and sooner than you may think. The project in question is the Gaza harbor island, which Katz has recently begun to promote.

Speaking at the 2016 Herzliya Conference last week, Minister Katz described his plan for an island with a port off the Gaza Strip, connected to the mainland with a three-mile bridge, with no residential buildings, and, most important—no place for Hamas to dig terror tunnels. According to Katz, an artificial island to be built on the high seas would also be a spot which was “not promised by God to anyone,” with no ideological ties to any of the warring parties in the region. This island would be built strictly for humane and financial purposes: permit the monitored, daily flow of traffic in and out of Gaza, provide construction jobs for the people of Gaza, and, eventually, who knows, there’s room for many imaginative ventures once you’ve gotten yourself an island.

“We can practically change the current reality,” Katz promised last week. And on Monday he told reporters: “I do not think it is right to lock up two million people without any connection to the world. Israel has no interest in making life harder for the population there. But because of security concerns we can’t build an airport or seaport in Gaza [proper].”

This week, Minister Katz raised the heat under his proposal, announcing that Israel is actively seeking foreign investors to construct a $5 billion artificial island with a seaport, hotels and an airport just off the coast of the Gaza Strip. The island, comprising an area of three square miles (although once you start making islands in the sea, what’s to stop you from making them even bigger), would “ease the blockade it imposed on the Palestinian enclave a decade ago.”

Up until last week’s announcement, there were several alternative harbor proposals being discussed by the Israeli leadership, to help ease the pressure on Gaza’s civilian population without harming Israeli security. One was what seemed like an exotic idea a few months ago, of building an artificial island that would face the Gaza shore, where ships would unload their goods under strict Israeli control. One called for the harbor to be built in El Arish, a sleepy Egyptian town in the north-eastern Sinai, which is under Egyptian rule. There was also an idea to build a Gaza harbor in Cyprus. And, of course, there was the more intuitive idea of building the Gaza harbor in Gaza, but conditioning its operation on long-term ceasefire deals. Naturally, as soon as Hamas starts shooting rockets at Israel, Israel could wipe out their nice harbor.

Katz insists his man-made island proposal is under review by Netanyahu’s security cabinet, and showing “a lot of potential.” The experts are drafting plans on ways to maintaining security on the offshore island and inside the off-shore harbor. One tactic being proposed is closing down the bridge when hostilities flare up on the mainland. But with Hamas investing in training its Navy SEAL commandos, closing down the bridge may not necessarily secure the island.

Minister Katz wants the island to be built with foreign investments, and he would like to see the Saudis and the Chinese, as well as private Israeli investors picking up the tab for his project. Katz said Israel would allow foreign construction workers into its territorial waters for the project.

According to the Washington Post, citing a high level Israeli official, Prime Minister Netanyahu is “exploring the option but has not yet made a determination.”

The Palestinian Authority folks hate the plan, which they called “dubious.” The PLO fears that the man-made island would bring about “the final severing of Gaza” from the PA.

JNi.Media

Police Arrest Women of the Wall Director for Torah Scroll Violation and Catch 22

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Police arrested Lesley Sachs, Executive Director of Women of the Wall, as she was exiting the Western Wall plaza with a Torah scroll Tuesday morning. Sachs was detained for “disturbing the public order,” although, according to the WOW’s own report, the prayer service of about 80 women at the Kotel was “relatively quiet and uneventful” on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. Apparently, Police accused Sachs of smuggling a Torah scroll into the women’s section.

According to the WOW email, the incriminating Torah scroll was lent to WOW executive board chair Anat Hoffman by Peter and Lawrence Michaels from Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento, California, in memory of their parents, Ann and Rudy Michaels. Hoffman, who flew from Sacramento to Israel with the Torah scroll in her arms, related that on her journey she ran into her flight’s all-female team of pilots, Captain Wendi Shaffner and First Officer Katrina Mittelstadt, who were moved by the small Torah. The email did not specify what or where they were moved to.

“Though we believe that the Torah was handed down to women and men equally at Mt. Sinai, and though women and men both sacrificed their lives and loved ones for the reunification of Jerusalem, in 2016 Women of the Wall struggle for access to Torah scrolls at the Kotel,” the WOW statement lamented. Of course, these dear women could access as many Torah scrolls as they wished anywhere else, including at the Reform section of the Kotel a few yards away, but over at the Women’s section of the Kotel it was No Torah for you, ladies, which, apparently, defied the equality promised to women at Mt. Sinai. Not the one on Fifth Ave., the one in Sinai.

The email also accused Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the state-appointed administrator of the Kotel, of creating a “Catch 22” for women: “he prohibits entrance with private Torah scrolls and refuses women access to the 100 scrolls he holds at the Kotel for public use in the men’s section.” But that’s not a catch 22, which was described by Joseph Heller in his 1961 novel by the same title via the character Doc Daneeka, an army psychiatrist who invokes “Catch 22” to explain why any pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanity—hoping to be found not sane enough to fly and thereby escape dangerous missions—demonstrates his own sanity in making the request and thus cannot be declared insane.

Rabbi Rabinowitz simply doesn’t want women to read out loud from the Torah at the Kotel because he interprets this as a desecration of halakha. As the WOW email confirms, he has the right to interpret it this way because he is the state appointed official in charge of interpreting Kotel-related issues.

The real question, not asked by WOW, is how come Sachs was picked up at the end of the Rosh Chodesh prayer session in which she openly defied the law, and not while she smuggled it in, or while the women were reading from it?

In a final episode of Heller’s book, the Catch-22 rule is described to Yossarian, the main protagonist, by an old woman recounting an act of violence by soldiers: “Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing.”

Wow.

David Israel

Earthquake Rattles Eilat

Monday, May 16th, 2016

An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale rattled Eilat on Monday morning at around 4:30 AM.

The epicenter was around 100 miles south of Eilat in the Sinai.

Tremors were felt in Eilat and the Negev.

There were no injuries or damage.

Jewish Press News Briefs

New Gaza Terror Tunnel to Sinai Discovered by Egypt

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

A smuggler tunnel under construction was discovered this weekend by Egyptian security personnel snaking under the Gaza border into the Sinai Peninsula.

The tunnel interior was 1.20 meters in height. It was located 35 meters from Sinai to Gaza, according to Egyptian sources.

It was already fitted with cables for electricity, lighting and telecommunications. Weapons and ammunition were found inside the tunnel as well.

Hana Levi Julian

2 ISIS Terrorists Killed by Egyptian Security in Sinai

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

The Egyptian military eliminated two “terrorist elements” and wounded a third operative linked to Da’esh (ISIS) in the Sinai Peninsula, Associated Press reported Sunday.

Security forces chased two of the terrorists on a motorcycle, according to a statement posted on the official Facebook page of the Egyptian military spokesperson. One was killed and the other injured in the provincial capital of El Arish, the Lebanon Daily Star reported.

A third terrorist was killed in a separate shootout with Egyptian military forces near Mount Halal, according to the Daily Star.

ISIS established a presence in Sinai a couple of years ago when the Ansar Beyt al Maqdis terrorist group, formerly linked to Al Qaeda, pledged its loyalty to Da’esh.

The group subsequently changed its name to Sinai Province when its membership in Da’esh was accepted and formalized.

Egypt and Israel have been cooperating on security operations in dealing with the terrorist threat along the Egyptian-Israeli border.

ISIS terrorists have been recruiting from among Palestinian Authority Arabs in Gaza, whose ruling Hamas terror group has been providing tactical and other support to the group in Sinai.

Operatives from related terrorist groups in Gaza have been sporadically firing rocket and mortar attacks at southern Israel over the past year, although it is not clear whether or not they are under the control of ISIS-linked Sinai Province.

Hana Levi Julian

Open Those Gates

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Arabs in Gaza protested at the Rafah crossing today, demanding that Egypt open the gates and let them out.

Photo of the Day

Egypt Claims Terror not Involved in Explosion of Russian Jet over Sinai

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Egypt has determined that a bomb did not cause the explosion on the Russian Metrojet that exploded on October 31 shortly after taking off from the airport at Sharm el-Sheikh.

The investigators’ conclusions totally contradict Russia’s and may be a handy way of escaping accusations that Egyptian security was lapse or, even worse, that security workers cooperated with terrorists to bring down the plane.

The announcement also may help the tourist industry, seriously damaged since the jet blew up.

Egypt’s announcement Monday that it “found no evidence so far of terrorism or other illegal action linked to the crash that killed all 224 people onboard on October 31” doesn’t make sense considering a statement by investigators last month.

They announced that after having recovering the black box from the plane, they were “90 per cent” sure they heard the sound of a bomb before the crash.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egypt-claims-terror-not-involved-in-explosion-of-russian-jet-over-sinai/2015/12/14/

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