Photo Credit: Jewish Press

The war continues throughout the country. Thirteen Israelis have been killed and many more have been injured, including a five-year-old boy in Sderot.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happening:

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* The Israeli Air Force continues to bomb targets throughout the Gaza Strip. Something like 200 people have been killed and a bunch more wounded. Unlike complete idiots like John Oliver and Trevor Noah, I don’t really think the exact numbers are important so I didn’t bother to look them up. Do these fake intellectual luminaries know how many people were killed/wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan? No, they don’t. They don’t care about life, they just hate Jews.  And I hate them.

* In what seems to be one of the biggest tricks in modern warfare, Israel released press statements and told infantry soldiers that a ground invasion of Gaza was commencing. Soldiers were marched toward the border and tanks were maneuvered around. This reportedly caused Hamas to send possibly hundreds of terrorists into a pre-prepared system of tunnels who were reading ready to emerge, surprise, and fight the charging soldiers.

The Israeli Air Force then heavily bombed the tunnels, killing and trapping many terrorists. Exactly how casualties Hamas suffered still remains unclear and may be for some time.

* The Arab riots against Jewish residents in various “mixed cities” have died down. Lod, Ramle, Jaffa, Akko, parts of the Negev and the Galilee, and Jerusalem had seen many incidents of Arabs attacking Jews and a very small number of Jews attacking Arabs. Over 300 Jewish houses were attacked; no Arab houses were attacked. Ten synagogues were attacked; no mosques were attacked.

The police are now making arrests and leftist judges are, not surprisingly, letting the terrorist rioters out quickly.

* In Lod specifically, Jews fought back and were arrested after shooting at Arab attackers. Those Jews have now been released and have not been charged with any crime. Subsequently, dozens of Jews from the hilltop Jewish Community of Yitzhar in the Shomron traveled to Lod and repelled the attackers. It wasn’t the police, but the “settlers,” who brought peace. Probably a hint of what’s to come nationwide in the future.

* There continue to be calls for a “cease-fire” from around the world, but so far, the terrorists keep shooting, so…

* Something like 10 rockets have been fired at Israel from within Lebanon. Hezbollah has made clear the rockets are not theirs and they are being attributed to a renegade “Palestinian” group in Lebanon. Most of these rockets landed in the ocean and very minimal damage has been caused.

* One of the more prominent targets hit in Gaza this week was the media tower that formerly housed Al-Jazeera and the AP. Notice was given an hour before the strike to evacuate the building and there were no casualties. Israel claims Hamas was using the building for military purposes. Some great videos out there of this. Couldn’t have happened to a bigger bunch of jerks. As the British say: Jolly good show!

* There have been disturbances throughout Judea and Samaria and the IDF has seemingly done a much better job of containing them compared to the Israeli police.

 

Political Situation

A few days into the conflict, it was announced that Naftali Bennett was no longer willing to join a coalition with the left-wing and Arab parties. This pretty much doomed the efforts of Yair Lapid’s attempt to form a coalition government. Lapid still has two weeks left to try.

As a result of Bennett’s announcement, coverage has shifted back to Prime Minister Netanyahu to see if he can put something together. He has reportedly been negotiating with a few parties, even including Benny Gantz, but no results as of yet. The chances of a fifth election still seem quite high.

 

Presidential Election

There is scheduled to be an election for the ceremonial role of Israeli president in the next two weeks. Calls were made by some to postpone the date because of the current hostilities, but the Speak of the Knesset has declined to do so.

As of now, there are three candidates running for this not so important position: Former Knesset Member and terror victim Yehuda Glick, bereaved mother Miriam Peretz, and former head of the Labor Party Isaac Herzog (whose father was the president back in the day). It’s quite an eclectic group. Herzog must be considered the frontrunner, but if one of the other two withdraw or make it to a second round of voting, it could be quite competitive.

 

Tragedy in Karlin-Stolin

There was another tragedy this week, right before the holiday of Shavuos, at a large gathering of Karlin-Stolin chassidim. Bleachers collapsed and hundreds fell on each other and on metal pieces. Two people died in the initial fall and many are hospitalized with a range of injuries, including fractured backbones and head injuries. This so soon after the recent tragedy in Meron.

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Rabbi Ben Packer is the director of the Jerusalem Heritage House.