Friday, July 28, 2017

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemin: The ‘Al-Aqsa libel’ lives on
As the years went by, the format of “an external enemy with self-killing” exacerbated, and not just among the Palestinians. The Muslims are regularly furious with the West. In the past few decades, the “forces of progress” have been adding fuel to the fire. Thousands of academics, journalists and human rights activists are pointing an accusing finger at the West, at the United States, as the Great Satan, and at Israel, as the Little Satan. Everything the Islamists say the ultra-enlightened people say a bit better.
But the rage against the West, which is mostly based on lies and self-deception, is entering an improved format of “an external enemy and self-killing,” because in recent decades the Muslims have mainly been massacring themselves. The massacre exists wherever there are Islamists, and they always find excuses to invigorate the “industry of death”—the title of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna’s article.
From 2002 to late 2016, 202,697 people were murdered in acts of terror. I’m not talking about the casualties of war in the Muslim world, where the death toll in that period almost reached one million. I’m talking about the victims of terror, the absolute majority of whom are Muslim, in Muslim countries or in Muslim population centers. Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria top the list. Israel is almost at the bottom. So with all due respect to the sensitivity towards the Temple Mount, which does exist, it’s the Muslim world’s last problem.
Terror doesn’t appear because it wants to improve something. It doesn’t seek peace. And in our case, it doesn’t seek two states for two people, it doesn’t want an end to the occupation. Terror appears because of incitement and hatred and blood libels. It seeks destruction and ruin, and it will find any excuse to reappear.
When the Palestinians suffer because of the occupation—they have an excellent reason, and one can be confident that the representatives of the forces of progress will turn into terrorism’s propaganda and justification arm. When things are good, despite the occupation—and in the past two years there have been signs of prosperity—it makes the jihadists’ blood boil even more and they rise up against the normalization. And, in the background, there are always the instigators and the agitators and the funders. The young man who went out to murder on Friday night believed that the Jews are desecrating one of Islam’s holiest symbols. He believed the campaign of lies, beginning with al-Jazeera and Hamas to Sheikh Raed Salah and the Palestinian media.
That doesn’t mean that our decision makers did the right thing. But before pulling out knives, and before starting an argument between the Shin Bet and the police, and before pointing an accusing finger at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, we must remember that we are talking about a much deeper problem. A problem which the Arab world must solve with itself, because the Muslims are an absolute majority of the victims of Islamic terror. The Temple Mount, with all due respect, is not a jot of this problem. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Israel must disabuse Abbas of the delusion he can bully Israel
Then Israel should stop facilitating the business interests of Abbas’s cronies, whose cartels control the Palestinian economy. The international donor community, too, might usefully rethink the huge sums of cash it pours into Abbas’s coffers every year.
Then Israel can and should revoke the VIP permits that allow Abbas and his ministers to fly in and out of Ben-Gurion Airport on their luxury private jets. Let them beg King Abdullah in Amman for travel privileges.
Simultaneously, Israel should clamp down on the activities in eastern Jerusalem of rabble- rousers like Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, the lead agent in the city for Erdogan’s Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood; Sheikh Issam Amira, the lead agent in the city for the Islamic Liberation Party (Hizb ut-Tahrir); and Abbas’s hand-picked henchmen, the intemperate Temple Mount Mufti Muhammad Hussein and the fanatic former chief justice of the PA’s religious court, Sheikh Tayseer al-Tamimi.
Their sermons, “charitable” enterprises and educational programs glorify terrorists and explicitly call for violent resistance to Israel. Their networks (along with Fatah social media) also are the source for the libel that al-Aksa is in danger from Israel. It would also not be too hard to arrest their key street-activists, who are leading the riots in the city.
Israel should unsheathe its sovereign power and put the extremists down. This is the decisive action that one day might allow for Palestinian moderates to emerge.
Arab humiliation and the Temple Mount
With Donald Trump’s electoral victory, Palestinian hopes of luring the international community into a dictated agreement suffered an enormous setback. Meanwhile the Gulf states have come to view Israel as an ally against Iran, while Egyptian security cooperation with Israel is stronger than ever in history. The Palestinians are the odd man out. And President Trump himself went to the Western Wall of the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem, the first US president ever to do so – as a private citizen, to be sure, and without any Israeli official presence – in a powerful gesture of sympathy for Jewish national aspirations.
The last wedge that the Palestinians can drive between Washington and its Arab allies is the Temple Mount itself. This is not a matter of Muslim theology, nor a question of sentimental attachment: rather, it is the embodiment of the last hope that the hated Zionist presence will be temporary, and the prayers of a billion and a half Muslims for “success” eventually will be granted. Whether last week’s murder of Israeli policemen with guns hidden on the Temple Mount was a fortuitous pretext for the protests, or a provocation intended to produce a wave of outrage in the Arab world, is unclear.
That explains why Arab governments were “conspicuously silent” on the matter, as the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported July 24. One can only imagine the content of the telephone traffic between Washington and Arab capitals over the weekend. Israel at length removed the metal detectors to the official praise of the White House.
Washington and Jerusalem only have unpleasant choices in the short term. The so-called Arab Street has been quiet for several years. But life in the Arab world remains difficult to bear, and the danger of an eruption of popular rage is ever present. The Israelis (and above all the Israeli security services) do not want another Intifada and hope the issue will go away. Feeding the Arab’s refusal to admit defeat, though, will only encourage behavior that has come to resemble the Black Knight’s one-sided battle with King Arthur in Monty Python’s Holy Grail film. Peace isn’t made when one side is defeated, but when one side admits that it is defeated. Delaying this admission keeps the war going. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Fact check Muslims are lying about being Israel’s “indigenous” people
In the battle for international hearts and minds, being “indigenous” is a hot ticket to leftist sympathy.
The Arabs haven’t been able to bludgeon Israel into physical submission, but in their lust for the indigenous status in Israel, they’re making great headway in their campaign to de-Judaize actual history with wishful thinking fairy tales.
As Mark Twain might have said if he were alive today:
Fake Muslim history can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
Barbara Kay: No, Arabs aren't Israel's "indigenous" people

The price of historical vandalism
Veteran U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross observed that "the thing that plagues the Palestinian ‎national movement more than anything else has been a historic preoccupation with ‎symbols, ‎not substance. Instead of building a state, the Palestinians would like to get a flag at ‎the U.N. ‎The day after they get a flag at the U.N., nothing changes."‎
Recent Palestinian maneuvers in UNESCO, known for its listing of World Heritage Sites, have followed this very pattern ‎of ‎dogged pursuit of symbolic victories that fail to improve the life of a single Palestinian ‎or ‎build the institutions essential for statehood. ‎
In October 2016, the executive board of UNESCO passed a resolution that disregarded ‎the ‎connection between Judaism and the Temple Mount ‎and sought to deny the Jewish link to ‎the Western Wall.
The move drew swift condemnation from UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, ‎who was ‎at pains to distance herself from the resolution, asserting that "to deny, conceal or ‎erase any of ‎the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site ‎and runs ‎counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage ‎list." ‎
But Bokova was powerless. Privately initiated by the Palestinians, the resolution passed ‎with ‎the support of predominantly nondemocratic states which are among the usual ‎automatic ‎majority that support every resolution favored by the Palestinian Authority, whose ‎government is now in ‎the 12th year of its elected four-year term.‎
In keeping with the strategy of pro-Palestinian activism in international forums, the ‎Palestinians ‎viewed the Jerusalem resolution not as the limit of what they sought to achieve, ‎but merely an ‎incremental gain in a broader project. ‎
Martin Sherman: The Temple Mount: No longer in our hands?
The chain of bloody events that took place over the last week defies both belief and reason. A series of unprovoked Arab assaults on Israelis, inexplicably, inconceivably and infuriatingly triggered a wave of international criticism of …Israel’s defensive responses?
Israel’s regrettable reticence
Of course, in a world where fairness and reason dominated the conduct of international affairs, Israel would have won wall-to-wall sympathy and support—or at the very least, tacit understanding—for its position. After all, the security measures adopted by Israel in the wake of the murderous attack on its law-enforcement officers in the Temple Mount complex were neither extreme nor excessive. To the contrary, they were entirely reasonable, appropriate—even, one might have thought, unavoidable. Indeed, what could be more natural than enhancing security measures in the wake of a deadly terror attack?
Regrettably, however, international reaction was far from what should have been expected in an imaginary world of fairness and reason. In the real world, very much the opposite was true—with the onus being placed on Israel to defuse the allegedly explosive situation that the threatened aggression of its foes conjured up.
But no less regrettable was the self-effacing Israeli response to the ridiculous recriminations, which merely helped fan the flames of this absurdity.
Thus, rather than robustly and resolutely repudiating the preposterous accusations concocted against it, Israel endeavored to play the “responsible adult”, in effect, acknowledging that it should shoulder the burden for preventing any violence the Arabs/Muslims might decide to instigate.
Gill Hoffman: Analysis Bibi’s big bungle - Israel News
There is an odd Hebrew phrase that multiple Knesset members used to describe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bad week: “He ate smelly fish, got lashings, and still got expelled from the city.”
Popularized by a midrash called the “Mechilta of Rabbi Ishmael,” the phrase, based on the Egyptians’ experience during the Exodus, refers to a man who failed, tried to avoid the punishment he deserved, and ended up with not only that punishment but also paying additional penalties.
That certainly fits Netanyahu, who tried to stand up for Israel’s sovereignty on the Temple Mount following the murder of two Israeli policemen, at first withstood pressure to remove metal detectors he decided to install at the entrances to the holy site, but ended up removing not only the metal detectors but also security cameras and barriers.
Netanyahu looked especially bad, because even the most moderate Likud minister, Tzachi Hanegbi, talked tough about the metal detectors being there to stay and said if the Muslims had a problem with them, they could pray somewhere else.
When Netanyahu gave in, he not only offended his political base on the Right, he even got slammed in the lead headline in his pet newspaper Israel Hayom. When even your cheerleaders are thumbing their noses at you, you know you’ve got it especially bad.
When a poll showed the public overwhelmingly opposed giving in on the metal detectors, Netanyahu tried pandering to the Right.
The al-Aksa Intifada
The Third Intifada, aka the al-Aksa Intifada as the Arabs prefer to call it, is not just another abstract concept dealing with a threat that might materialize at some point in the future. This intifada has been in the making for years already, like a barrel of explosives whose extremely long fuse was lit a long time ago. Although we’ve been able to detect its fumes for some time now, Israel’s merely been dribbling a few drops of water on them here and there. Unfortunately, this method hasn’t help put out the flame, or even slowed the countdown to the impending explosion.
But the progression of the flame toward the explosive is inevitable, since there are too many Islamist extremists and war-hungry fundamentalists who are fanning the flames.
They use slanderous slogans and lies to incite violence, money that’s channeled to them for defamatory campaigns, and media strategy that is so cleverly deceptive it should be taught in communications departments in universities worldwide.
On the one hand, we have the Palestinian Authority, which has been trying to achieve full authority over the Temple Mount as part of their campaign to establish Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. Following the lead of Mahmoud Abbas, for years the Palestinian Authority has been spreading lies about Israeli intentions to take over the Temple Mount and alter the status quo.
Then there is Hamas, whose operatives are working day and night in the West Bank to incite Palestinians to violence and ignite the area with two main goals in sight.
Their first goal is to gain power and status among the Palestinian public and be perceived as the savior of the people in anticipation of a regime change in the West Bank.
Their second goal is to lead the Muslim struggle for sovereignty over the Temple Mount in order to receive complete control over the site in the future.

Was Iran Behind the Recent Violence on the Temple Mount?
You can hear that rhetoric, quite literally, if you stand close enough to Israel’s northern border. When Moscow announced on Monday—incidentally or not, the very day when the conflict on the Temple Mount reached its sour resolution—that it would move its military police to monitor two safe zones in Syria, including one near the Golan Heights, Israel grumbled. Yaakov Amidror, a former adviser to Netanyahu and one of the country’s most astute national security thinkers, said the Russian move did not take Israel’s security needs into consideration. “We understand the threats which emerge from this arrangement which was done without taking into consideration what Israel has to do to guarantee its ability to defend itself,” he said. With Hezbollah agents now free to move in behind Moscow’s monitors a stone’s throw from the Israeli border, with Iran having an uninterrupted channel for funneling cash and arms to anti-Israeli militants, and with the United States having taken no action to defend Israel against such a blatant threat, Netanyahu must have realized how grim his situation truly was.
How was this operation executed? How did Iranian cash and intel find its way to Umm al-Fahm and Jerusalem and beyond? That’s a question for Israel’s capable intelligence services. But Netanyahu, a supremely gifted political operative, didn’t need to stick around and wait for an answer. He understood two things: first, that he was witnessing a finely orchestrated play unfurling at his doorstep; and second, that if he hit back hard, Donald Trump wouldn’t be there to back him up. And so he played the only card available to him—backing down and thanking both Trump and the Jordanians for their part in de-escalating the conflict, which is all the proof you need that neither the Jordanians nor Trump had any real role to play. National security isn’t an Academy Awards acceptance speech; you don’t publicly thank the people who helped you, only those you need to make sure don’t screw you over in the future.
Whoever was behind this recent gambit would likely try again soon. And next time, it’s not so clear that political know-how will save us from the brink of disaster.
Palestinians arrested after barricading selves in Al-Aqsa Mosque
Police arrested several Palestinian youths who barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque following prayers there late Thursday night, as tensions surrounding the Temple Mount persisted after nearly two weeks of bloody clashes over security measures at the site.
The confrontation came following a day of fighting between police and Muslim worshipers at the holy site, after Muslim leaders said they would resume praying at the site as Israel rolled back security measures there, seemingly ending a high-stakes standoff over control of the sacred compound.
However, tensions remain high ahead of prayers Friday, with Israeli officials beefing up police and military presence in Jerusalem and the West Bank amid fears of clashes amid lingering Muslim anger over the episode.
According to police, they were forced to remove several dozen youths who had refused orders from both Israeli authorities and the Islamic Waqf that administers the site to leave the mosque following prayers.
“Several attempts were made through the Waqf to call on the youths to leave the mosque, but since they were not answered, a number of additional attempts were made by police to get the youths to listen to police orders and leave the mosque. At that point, the youths locked the doors of the mosque and refused to leave,” police said in a statement.
Watch Israeli security removes Palestinian flag from atop Temple Mount
As part of their massive return to the Temple Mount on Thursday, worshipers put up a Palestinian flag atop the roof of one of the buildings on the Temple Mount.
The flag was removed by soldiers, as can be seen in the video.
Below, crowds can be seen rushing around the open esplanade of the compound. Clashes broke out as thousands of Palestinians returned to the compound after refusing to enter it for nearly a week. According to the Red Crescent, dozens have been injured, though no fatalities have been reported.
Muslim worshipers, urged by their leaders, had refused to enter the compound after Israel had installed metal detectors at the site following the murder of two Israeli policeman by Arab-Israeli assailants nearly two weeks ago. The move to install the metal detectors inflamed tensions in Jerusalem, where riots broke out almost daily, as well as throughout the Middle East and the globe.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Pallywood: Rioters Caught Hamming It Up For The Cameras
The following footage of today’s Temple Mount riots is doing the rounds.
At around 3:37, something interesting is caught on film.
Let me break it down for you.

Friday Prayers at Temple Mount End Peacefully, Clashes Reported in West Bank
Amid high security in the Old City of Jerusalem, thousands of worshipers attended Friday prayers at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Crowds dispersed peacefully from the compound, where entrance to prayer-goers was limited to men aged 50 and older and all women.
Clashes were reported in the West Bank between Palestinians and the IDF following Friday prayers, particularly in Bethlehem, Nablus, Kalkilya, Hebron, Kafr Qadum and the Tomb of Rachel.
The Palestine Red Crescent said that one Palestinian was wounded by live fire, two by rubber coated metal bullets and ten from tear gas inhalation during clashes in Bethlehem.
While the situation in the Old City is currently under control, the Palestinians that gathered to pray at the Temple Mount on Friday expressed their disappointment in the current situation.
White House lauds Netanyahu's crisis response amid criticism from Israeli right
Trump administration officials are praising Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for removing screening equipment from the Temple Mount as the actions of a "responsible" leader, amid criticism from those on the premier's political Right that he caved to pressure from the Arab world.
A member of the prime minister's own government, Naftali Bennett of the rightwing Bayit Yehudi party, said on Thursday that Netanyahu's decision to remove metal detectors and scanners from the holy plateau after a shooting attack on July 14 killed two Israeli police officers amounts to a "surrender" by Israel to Palestinian rioters.
"Israel comes out weakened from this crisis," Bennett said. The equipment was removed after intensive discussions among the Israelis, Jordanians, Americans and Saudis.
"Instead of sending a message about Israel's sovereignty on the Temple Mount, it sent a message that Israel's sovereignty can be questioned," Bennett added.
Abbas Defies U.S. Demands to Reduce Tensions Over Temple Mount
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is refusing demands from the White House to stop incitement over the Temple Mount and call for an end to protests, Haaretz reported Thursday.
U.S. officials urged the PA to de-escalate tensions, citing Israeli efforts to defuse the situation in the wake of a July 14 terror attack at the Temple Mount that killed two Israeli police officers, an anonymous source told the paper. In the face of continued Palestinian protests, Israel removed the metal detectors and security cameras it placed at the entrance to the complex.
A senior Palestinian official told Haaretz “that there have been attempts to calm tensions and prevent an escalation over the past two days, but the Palestinians decided to continue with their protest.”
The official added that Abbas refused to meet with U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt, who traveled to the Middle East in an effort to de-escalate tensions over the Temple Mount.
The head of the Waqf—the Jordan-based Islamic trust that administers the Temple Mount—called on Muslims to boycott the holy site as long as the security measures remained in place.
Turkish Foreign Minister: The Jews Should Appreciate Life Under the Ottomans
The Jews should appreciate how good they had it under the Ottoman Empire, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday after Israel responded to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments on the Temple Mount crisis by reminding him that the days of the Ottoman Empire are over.
“We condemn the presumptuous statement by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel regarding the remarks of our president on the recent developments at al-Haram al-Sharif [the Temple Mount],” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hüseyin Müftüoglu said. “At the Ottoman era, communities belonging to different religions and sects lived in peaceful coexistence and enjoyed freedom of worship for centuries. In this context, Jews would be expected to know best and appreciate the unique tolerance during the Ottoman era.”
Müftüoglu said that in Turkey today, “freedom of faith and worship are also safeguarded by the state.”
“Al-Haram al-Sharif, which is the third-most sacred site for all Muslims, ranks prominently among the highest priorities of the Islamic world,” he said.
“Therefore, the responsibility that rests with Israel is to urgently make common sense prevail, go back to the status quo at al-Haram al-Sharif and lift all the restrictions on the freedom of worship.”
Amid Weeks of Terror, Wall Street Journal Obscures Identity of Attackers, Downgrades Temple Mount
On July 14, an attack by three Arab Israelis on two Druze Israeli policemen at the Temple Mount precipitated a wave of violence that is still ongoing as of this date. In six articles covering the recent events, the Wall Street Journal's headlines have consistently obscured the identity of Arab attackers, and its reporting has downplayed the significance of the Temple Mount in Judaism, created false moral equivalencies, and omitted important context.
The Journal's July 14 headline relied on the passive voice, reading, “Israeli Police Officers Shot Dead in Jerusalem Temple Mount Attack.” While the article explained that the attackers were Arab Israelis, those who skim headlines or see them posted on social media will never learn this information. A July 16 headline that appeared in hard copy, “Terror Strikes the Temple Mount, Holy to Muslims and Jews Alike,” similarly obscured the identity of the attackers.
This obfuscation was also repeated in the text of a July 21 report by Nuha Musleh, which referred to the Temple Mount attack as having been committed by “three gunmen.” (“Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas Calls for Cutting Ties to Israel.”)
Subsequent to the Temple Mount attack, Israel installed metal detectors at the site, with protests and further terror attacks following. On July 24, the Journal's Rory Jones reported on the attack on a security guard at the Israeli embassy in Jordan. The article's initial headline, “Israeli Embassy Guard Kills Two Jordanians in Amman After Attack,” hid the identity of the attacker, a Jordanian carpenter with a screwdriver, and put the focus on the embassy guard (although it did note that he acted only after being attacked). The headline was subsequently revised to read, “U.S. Tries to Ease Tensions Between Israel and Jordan After Embassy Attack,” thus hiding not only the identity of the attacker but also the identity of the person attacked. The subheading, “White House envoy arrives in region after guard at Amman compound shoots and kills two amid dispute over Israeli moves to tighten security at holy site in Jerusalem,” does little to provide clarity.
American Relatives of Michal Solomon, Whose Husband Was Slain by a Palestinian Terrorist Last Week, Start Crowdfunding Campaign
Last Friday, when a Palestinian terrorist knocked on her door, entered her house, and started slaughtering her family, Michal Solomon made a swift and silent agreement with her husband, Elad: He will stay behind and fight, she will slip behind the terrorist’s back with her three young children and run upstairs to the room where the couple’s young twins were sleeping. She got to the bedroom, closed the door, and defended it with her body, calling the police with whatever calm she could muster and alerting them to the attack. Downstairs, meanwhile, her husband was slaughtered on his kitchen floor.
Now, Michal’s American family, the Landos, is organizing a crowdfunding campaign to make sure the young widow and mother of five is cared for. Remembering Michal’s generosity, her relatives recalled a sunny young woman who, even as a small child, would never hesitate to give her bed to a visiting cousin and who, later in life, would do everything she could to make ailing and lonely family members feel nourished and loved.
“Three years ago, when my father developed a malignant brain tumor, Michal made it her business to Skype with him every week just to chat and check in,” wrote one relative. “My father always mentioned her calls and I knew it was because her perseverance and consistency was so valuable to him. She was completely abreast of his medical condition at all times. Since my father died, Michal has continued to make my mother feel loved and cared for whenever she visits Israel. When I myself developed cancer, Michal began these same phone calls to me. No matter how many times I didn’t answer the phone, she never stopped calling.”
'We will never go back to that house'
It's 1 a.m. between Saturday and Sunday. Tova Salomon wakes up after surgery. She was seriously wounded in a terrorist attack after witnessing her husband Yossi, son Elad and daughter Chaya being butchered by a terrorist. One of her surviving children, daughter Orit, is by her side at the hospital, reeling with pain.
"We were in the recovery room," Orit recounts. "Mom opened her eyes and asked about Dad, Chaya and Elad. I didn't answer. She closed her eyes, fell asleep again for a while and then woke up and asked again. I told her that Dad was gone. She asked about Elad. I told her Elad was gone. She asked about Chaya. When she heard about Chaya, she let out a scream. She couldn't take it."
In the mourners' tent outside Elad's house, the three surviving Salomon siblings sit on low chairs together with Elad's widow, Michal. Yossi's brother Benzi Salomon and sister Leah Friedman are also there, with torn shirts and swollen, red eyes.
The siblings have a lot to say. They don't want their father, a kind, joyful man, to be remembered only for the shocking images of a blood-smeared kitchen floor. They don't want their generous, wonderful brother to be remembered only in the context of a massacre. They don't want their sister, a devoted teacher and loving aunt, to be etched into the collective memory just as a victim butchered on a doorstep. Their lives should be remembered no less than their death.
Salomon family celebrates Brit Milah
Hundreds of people participated Thursday in the Brit Milah (circumcision) ceremony for the grandson born to the Salomon family last week.
The baby's name is "Ari Yosef." His parents, Shmuel and Chen Salomon, said that they invited all of Israel to participate in their joy "so that the Salomon family will be remembered as happy and joyous and not sad and hurt."
Shmuel said that his son was named "Ari" after his wife's late grandfather, and that the middle name "Yosef" was added in memory of his father, murdered in a brutal terrorist attack last Friday night.
Shmuel said that his father and his two siblings Haya and Elad, also murdered in the terrorist attack, "fought like lions against the cursed terrorist" before he murdered them.
Earlier, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, visited the home of the Salomon family in Elad prior to the Brit Milah ceremony.
President Rivlin consoles mourners of Halamish massacre
President Reuven Rivlin paid a condolence visit on Wednesday at the home of Elad Salomon, who was murdered together with his father Yossi and sister Chaya during a terror attack on Friday night in the West Bank settlement of Halamish.
On his arrival to the house, Rivlin embraced the members of the bereaved family, and asked Tova, Yossi’s widow, about her recovery from injuries which she sustained in the brutal attack. Tova responded that she was getting stronger, and emphasizing her appreciation to the soldier who was able to stop the massacre and the terrorist. “I raised him,” said Tova, who was the soldier’s kindergarten teacher, “he was in my kindergarten, and now he saved me.”
The family invited the general public to participate in the circumcision of the grandson, whose birth they celebrated on that Friday night in which the attack occurred. The circumcision will take place tomorrow at 17:00 local time at the Vizhnitz Conference Hall in Elad.
Orit, Elad's sister, told the Rivlin of how she discovered that the attack had been at her parent’s home, and of the horrific phone call from her sister-in-law, Michal. Rivlin seemed to be greatly moved when she told him of how Elad and Michal’s eldest, Avinoam, had acted, as he hugged Avinoam.
Netanyahu: Death penalty for Halamish terrorist
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday called for the 19-year old Arab terrorist who slaughtered three members of the Salomon family on Friday to be executed.
The statement came during the Prime Minister’s visit to the Salomon family in Elad, as they celebrated the circumcision of a new grandson.
Last Friday, Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Haya, 46, and his son Elad, 35, were stabbed to death by an Arab terrorist after he broke into their house during a family celebration in honor of the grandson’s birth.
“The time has come to use the death penalty for this terrorist,” Netanyahu told the family.
“This is permitted by the law; it needs a unanimous decision by the judges, but they’ll want to know the position of the government as well. And my position is as Prime Minister, that in this case, of this lowly terrorist, that he should be executed. He simply cannot be allowed to smile again,” Netanyahu said, referencing pictures taken of the terrorist smiling shortly after the attack.
Mother of Halamish terrorist indicted
An indictment was filed Thursday in the military court in Judea against the mother of the terrorist who committed the massacre in Neve Tzuf (Halamish) last Friday night.
Ibtisam al-Abed was charged with incitement after praising her son's act of murder in an interview the next day.
Last Friday, Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya, 46, and his son Elad, 35, were stabbed to death by Arab terrorist Omar al-Abed after he broke into their house during a family celebration in honor of the grandson’s birth.
Israeli security guard Ziv presents his version on Jordan shooting incident
As was promised by Israel to Jordan, the Israeli security guard Ziv, who shot and killed two Jordanians after being stabbed by one of them with a screwdriver, presented his version of the events on Thursday. According to Ziv, the attack was of nationalistic motivation. Investigators additionally began to review evidence from the scene, including photographs from security cameras that documented part of the incident.
This affair led to great tension and the fortification of the diplomatic team with the security guards, at the end of which the security guard was returned to Israel and Israel removed the security measures it placed on the Temple Mount after the attack in which two policemen were murdered. The investigation is being conducted by a joint team of the Israel Police, the Shin Bet security service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The investigation is personally supervised by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan.
Contrary to the reports published in Jordan, Israel did not promise Jordan to prosecute the security guard, but the state is looking to investigate the affair in depth. Shin Bet Chief Nadav Argaman, who visited Jordan one day after the incident, has already begun an initial investigation of the incident, as well as the security department of the Foreign Ministry, which is responsible for securing the Israeli embassies abroad, and which also recruited the security guard Ziv.
A senior legal source said that since relations with Jordan are very tender at the moment, the Israeli investigation will be thorough and not cut any corners. At first, it was assumed that the Shin Bet will be heading the investigation, but in the end it was decided to hand it over to the police.
Jordan said to charge Israeli embassy guard in absentia with murder
The security guard from Israel’s embassy in Jordan who shot dead two Jordanians at the Amman compound after being stabbed by one of them with a screwdriver has reportedly been charged in absentia with murder.
Jordan’s Attorney General Akram Masaadeh told Jordan’s Petra News Agency his agency has completed the investigation into Sunday’s incident in which 17-year old Mohammad Jawawdeh and Bashar Hamarneh were killed, according to a translation by the Al Ghad daily.
He charged the guard, Ziv, whose last name has not been cleared for publication, and who is in Israel, with two counts of murder and for bearing an unlicensed weapon.
Masaadeh said the embassy employee’s diplomatic immunity would not prevent him being charged and standing trial in Israel.
Separately, the government tasked Justice Minister Awad Abu Jarad with “achieving criminal justice” in the case, The Jordan Times reported.
Hundreds protest against Israel in Jordan, call to end peace treaty
Hundreds of Jordanians held a protest near the Israeli embassy in Amman on Friday, calling on the government to shut it down and cancel the 1994 peace treaty with Israel.
Emerging from a nearby mosque following prayers, the protesters chanted “Death to Israel” and “No Zionist embassy on Jordanian soil,” an AFP correspondent said.
The protesters were also demanding justice for two Jordanian nationals killed by an Israeli embassy worker this week, including a 17-year-old who authorities said attacked the guard with a screwdriver. Israel, which questioned the guard on Thursday, said the guard fired in self-defense, and that the attack on him was nationalistically motivated.
According to Hebrew-language media reports, some protesters tried to break into the empty embassy building before being dispersed by security forces.
The Palestinian plot to end-run Trump at the UN
The Palestinians want your money, and they’re trying to make an end run around Congress to get it.
On Friday, the United Nations General Assembly will vote on a resolution to change the way a Palestinian-centered agency is financed. For years, only a fraction of the funds for the UN Relief and Work Agency, which is dedicated exclusively to benefit Palestinians, came from UN budgets; 90 percent of the agency’s ever-growing needs were financed voluntarily by donor countries.
The resolution, sponsored by a large group of countries sympathetic to the Palestinians, will recommend “a gradual increase in the support provided to [UNRWA] from the regular budget of the UN” by next year. Plus, mandatory fees in the past could only fund the salaries of non-Palestinian workers; the new resolution removes that restriction as well.
Camel nose, meet tent. Eventually the entirety of America’s contribution to UNRWA will be decided by UN members rather than Congress.
In other words, you’ll have little say about how much of your tax money is spent to aid a top Palestinian cause, or in what manner. Instead, it’ll be up to a UN committee where those who pay less than 1 percent of the UN budget have much more power than top contributors like the United States.
Why are Palestinians pushing this resolution now?
One reason is their bad press is multiplying: UNRWA teachers preach anti-Israel propaganda; Hamas uses agency infirmaries and other installations to hide arms; attack tunnels are dug under Gaza schools. And they’re aware that Congress, understandably, is increasingly skeptical about this Hamas-influenced agency.
Plus, Israel just shifted its stance. Jerusalem diplomats have long quietly lobbied on UNRWA’s behalf, fearing Israel would be made to shoulder the agency’s responsibilities if it disappears.
Report: In Talks With Trump Administration Officials, Israeli PM Netanyahu Proposed Annexing Gush Etzion Settlement Bloc in Exchange for Transferring Wadi Ara Region to Palestinian Control
During recent talks with Trump administration officials, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed — within the framework of a potential future peace deal with the Palestinians — a land swap that would see the Gush Etzion settlement bloc near Jerusalem annexed to Israel in exchange for the Arab communities in the Wadi Ara region near Haifa becoming part of a Palestinian state, Channel 2 reported on Thursday.
This, the report said, marked the first time Netanyahu had expressed open support for such a swap, an idea that has long been touted by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
“Mr. Prime Minister, welcome to the club,” Lieberman tweeted in response to the report.
The idea is a controversial one, with many Israeli Arabs vehemently opposing it, preferring to remain citizens of Israel over being forced to become citizens of a new Palestinian state.
A Trump administration official told the Times of Israel on Thursday, “This may have been one of many ideas discussed several weeks ago in the context of a peace agreement and not in the context of a separate annexation.”
Why I Hate That Bibi Raised The Issue Of A Population Exchange
I am not talking here about the merits or lack thereof of the proposal itself — but of its context.
Supposedly big news coming out of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in the form of a “leaked” phone call with USA President Trump. Bibi is now supporting an idea floated years ago by current Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman by which Wadi Ara, a region largely populated by Arabs be exchanged for Gush Etzion and Ma’aleh Adumim in the disputed territories of Judea & Samaria (aka The West Bank).
Here is what the supposed border of the proposed Palestinian State would look like (rough guess) with Wadi Ara incorporated within it:
The Green Line, current boundary of the disputed territories, is marked in black on the Google Satellite image. The red line contains the Arab towns in Wadi Ara proposed for inclusion in a future Palestinian state.
From our Israeli perspective, this does not look like a bad idea — certainly not after the display of Arab treachery toward the state in which they live.
An untold story of heroism from the 'arson intifada'
Amidst the numerous arson attacks that caused great damage from November 22 to November 27, 2016, there were also stories of heroism that went untold.
One of those stories is that of Commander Rafael Hamra, a commander in Battalion 202 of the Paratroopers Brigade. At that time, his battalion was stationed in the Binyamin region, and he was responsible for the Ramallah area.
Throughout the entire period, characterized by many alerts over arson attempts perpetrated by terrorists in the area, each alert was assessed and dealt with in depth. After every alert, an emergency squad rushed to the warning area in an attempt to prevent the arson and catch the perpetrating terrorist.
During one of those alerts, Hamra, together with his team, rushed to the scene of the arson attempt. They identified a suspect as he tried to set fire to a number of wooden planks. Hamra jumped out of the vehicle and began to run towards the terrorist. He grabbed the terrorist's arm and took the lighter from him, then handcuffed him and took him to the nearest army post for further questioning about his motives and to ascertain whether he had acted independently.
Hamra related: "When we arrived at the scene of the incident, we waited a few minutes to see what the suspect was doing. The moment we saw him trying to set a fire near a community, we began operational activity to thwart the attempt. We acted swiftly and quietly to restore security to the residents of the area."
IDF: Attempted stabbing attack in West Bank, assailant killed
A Palestinian attempted to carry out a stabbing attack on Friday afternoon at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank, according to the IDF.
According to an army statement, the assailant arrived at the scene with a knife and ran towards IDF forces. The forces fired at the attacker.
The assailant was neutralized and later died from his wounds. No civilians were reported to be wounded in the attack.
The assailant was mentally unstable, according to Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Major General Yoav Mordechai. He stated that some Palestinians "encourage people with mental problems to commit suicide in such a way, and then use it for nationalistic ends."
Mordechai added, "We are sorry that he was killed, but the blame is on the instigators who let him to go to the junction, pull out a knife and run toward IDF soldiers."

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