December 19, 2017

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

IAF strikes Gaza after terrorist rocket hits Israeli home

The Israeli Air Force hit several terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip early Monday morning (18th) after rockets fired from the coastal enclave hit a home in the border-adjacent Ashkelon Coast Regional Council, Sunday evening (17th).

The military said six targets in a Hamas training compound, including terrorist infrastructure, were destroyed in the strikes.

“The IDF takes terrorist fire at Israeli communities very seriously,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.  “We will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens.”



Exploiting Freedom of the Press to kill Jews

Despite the fact that freedom of the press in Israel is light-years ahead of that in any neighboring country, including the Palestinian Authority, antagonists still find excuses to criticize the Jewish state in this regard.

The truth is that Israel finds itself in need of rethinking absolute freedom of the press given how often it’s exploited to do harm to the nation.

That was literally the case last Friday (15th) when a Palestinian terrorist pretended to be a journalist in order to get close enough to Israeli police officers to stab one nearly to death.

The terrorist huddled up with a group of foreign and local reporters at a junction outside the city of Ramallah and waited for his prey to stroll close enough.  

Once officers were within range, 29-year-old Mohammed Aqal pounced, stabbing one Israeli twice in the upper body.



U.S. vetoes UN resolution that would have required Trump to rescind Jerusalem recognition

The United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have required the Trump administration to backtrack on its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The other 14 members-states of the Security Council voted in favor of the one-page document submitted by Egypt, which insists that any decisions on the status of Jerusalem have no legal effect and must be rescinded.



Netanyahu thanks Ambassador Haley for U.S. veto

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the U.S. veto of a UN Security Council resolution calling for the rescinding of the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Netanyahu thanked American ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley: “On Hanukkah you spoke like a Maccabee, you lit the light of truth and expelled the darkness.  One triumphs over many; truth triumphed over falsehood.  Thank you President Trump, thank you Nikki Haley,” Netanyahu said taking a page out of the Hanukkah book.



Danon: Jerusalem is, has been, and always will be the capital of Israel

Danny Danon, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, criticized the council’s debate concerning U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Members of the Council can vote again and again – for a hundred more times.  It won’t change the simple fact that Jerusalem is, has been, and always will be the capital of Israel,” he said.

The resolution by the Security Council calls for countries to refrain from moving their embassy to the city.

“Every other country in the world has the right to designate its capital city.  But when it comes to Israel, somehow this most basic national right is questioned and condemned.  We thank the United States for standing with Israel and staying loyal to the truth,” Danon said.



Arabs said unhappy at India’s tepid response to Trump’s Jerusalem move

Arab countries have urged India to issue a strong condemnation of U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, after New Delhi put out a very muted response to the proclamation, India media reported, in what is being seen as a further sign of a shift in India to a more pro-Israel policy.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas also sent a message via diplomatic channels asking for Indian support for the Palestinian rejection of the U.S. position, the report said.



Saudi Academic says Arabs should accept Israel’s “historic right”

Abdulhameed Hakeem, head of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia told the U.S.-based al-Hurra TV channel on Saturday (16th) that the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “will prompt a positive shock towards moving the stagnant water surrounding negotiations….We have to admit and realize that Jerusalem is a religious symbol for the Jews that is just as holy for them as Mecca and Medina are for Muslims.”

“Arab mentality must free itself from the heritage of Gamal Abdel Nasser and political Islam of both the Sunni and Shia sects, which has instilled for purely political interests the culture of hating Jews and denying their historic right in the region.”



Druze officer to head unit dealing with Palestinian issues – Tovah Lazaroff

IDF Maj.-Gen. Kamil Abu-Rokun, 58, has been appointed to head the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

During Abu-Rokun’s 40 years of IDF service, he has served as deputy head of COGAT and head of the Civil Administration.  Since 2010, he has been in charge of the crossing Authority which oversees the crossings into Gaza.

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan said that Abu-Rokun’s appointment was a testament to the state’s strong ties with the Druze community.



University of Michigan Regents won’t Divest; Oppose Israel sanctions – Martin Slagter

The University of Michigan’s Board of Regents, last Thursday (14th) declined to form a committee to investigate divesting the university’s endowment from certain companies alleged to commit human rights violations against Palestinians.

Six of the eight Board of Regents members signed a joint statement noting that they strongly opposed any action involving the Boycott, Divestment or Sanction of Israel.



Menorah in Kiev vandalized with ‘blood,’ swastika

A Hanukkah menorah at a synagogue in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev was doused with red liquid resembling blood and vandalized with a swastika.

The incident happened Sunday (17th) at Podol synagogue.  The menorah, which is several feet tall, was standing outside the building.

Last month, an anti-Semitic slur was painted on the wall of a Jewish charity in western Ukraine.

Those incidents follow several cases of death threats and vandalism against Jewish institutions in western Ukraine, including at cemeteries and synagogues.