December 22, 2017

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

UN General Assembly rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution rejecting any recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the wake of the pronouncement by President Trump two weeks ago.

The vote at Thursday’s (21st) emergency session was 128 in favor and 9 against with 35 abstentions,  The United States, last week, vetoed a similar resolution by the UN Security Council that was favored by the 14 other countries.

General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, but are intended to carry moral weight as an expression of the international community.



Israel rejects UN vote, thanks Trump for stance on Jerusalem

JERUSALEM – Israel rejected a UN vote on Thursday (21st) that called on the United States to withdraw its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“Israel rejects the UN decision and at the same time is satisfied with the high number of countries that did not vote in its favor,” said a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.

“Israel thanks President Trump for his unequivocal position in favor of Jerusalem and thanks the countries that voted together with Israel, together with the truth,” it said.



Danon chides ‘Palestinian puppet masters’ behind Jerusalem vote

As the UN General Assembly met in an emergency session Thursday (21st) to vote on a resolution denouncing US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon offered a harsh rebuke to the assembled diplomats.

“Those who supported today’s resolution are like puppets pulled by the strings of the Palestinian puppet masters,” said Danon.  “You are like marionettes forced to dance while the Palestinian leadership looks on in glee,” the Ambassador continued.

The UN General Assembly voted 128-9 with 35 abstentions to declare ‘null and void” the recent declaration by President Trump that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.



Hamas praises UN resolution on Jerusalem

UNITED NATIONS – The Islamic militant group Hamas welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution vote calling the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void.”

In a statement, spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the resolution “a step in the right direction” and “a blow to Trump’s announcement.”  He said the resolution emphasizes “the Palestinian right to the holy city.”

The General Assembly voted 128-9 with 35 abstentions in favor of the non-binding resolution.



Hamas chief in Gaza says Palestinian unity deal is collapsing

Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar said on Thursday (21st) that a reconciliation deal with Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction was collapsing, just 10 weeks after an agreement was reached.

The rivals signed a deal brokered by Cairo on Oct. 12 after Hamas agreed to hand over administrative control of the Gaza Strip, including its border crossings with Egypt and Israel, a decade after seizing control of the enclave in a civil war.

Yahya Sinwar said, “The reconciliation project is falling apart.  Only a blind man can’t see that.”  His comments were published by pro-Hamas media.



Hamas terror cell planned to kidnap Knesset Member – Itay Blumenthal

A Hamas terror cell arrested by the Israeli Security Agency planned to kidnap Likud MK Yehuda Glick and IDF Arabic-language spokesman Maj. Avichay Adraee, according to indictments filed against three Palestinians on Wednesday (20th).  After researching their targets, they later changed their plans and decided to try to kidnap an Israeli soldier or civilian instead.

Glick survived an attempt on his life on Oct. 30, 2014, after he was shot and seriously wounded in Jerusalem by Islamic Jihad member Mutaz Hijazi.  Maj. Adraee is one of the more well known figures in the Arab media with more than 1 million followers on Facebook.



IDF trains soldiers to deal with provocations by Palestinian civilians

After a video went online showing two Palestinian women hitting and kicking IDF soldiers in an effort to provoke a reaction out of them, a senior IDF officer explained Tuesday (19th) the challenges soldiers serving in the West Bank face on a daily basis while dealing with the Palestinian population.  The two young women were later arrested, and the army has instructed  its forces to arrest such provocateurs on the spot.

“The video doesn’t show what happened before that – the soldiers were there because there was violent rioting,” the officer said.  “The soldiers’ response should be praised for the way they acted: professionally and ethically.”  Soldiers now participate in workshops that include simulations of such incidents and the results can be seen in the field.  Since January 2017, troops in Hebron have arrested 58 Palestinians carrying knives without firing a single shot.  “There are dozens of incidents in the different sectors, provocations done by radicals on all sides, sometimes a few times a day,” the officer said.



Muslim migrants behind rise in anti-Semitism – Roger Boyes

School textbooks in Syria make uncomfortable reading.  Jews, pupils are told, reject Allah’s divine truth, their state is illegitimate, and Israeli occupation of Arab lands is a crime.

A 25-year-old Syrian, whatever his views of Bashar al-Assad, will have been brought up with these unquestioned views.

We are seeing the results of this in Europe today.  Anti-Semitism is on the rise, especially in countries that took in large numbers of migrants from Arab countries.

The Jewish community was among the first to argue the moral case for taking in Syrian refugees because of the historical memory of the flight from the Holocaust.

Yet some frustrated refugees who thought they were heading to a better world, not a bunk-bed in an old army barracks, are taking out their anger on, yes, Jews.



Sea of Galilee to be replenished with desalinated water

With the Sea of Galilee dropping to dangerously low levels as Israel faced a fifth year of reduced rainfall, Israel’s Water Authority will begin pumping desalinated water into the freshwater lake, Hadashot TV reported Monday (18th).

Last year northern Israel received just 10% of the average winter rain.



Record number of Christian pilgrims to visit Israel for Christmas  

The Israeli Ministry of Tourism announced on Wednesday (20th) that a record number of Christian pilgrims are expected to give an income boost to the economy by visiting the Holy Land for Christmas, finishing up a record-breaking year.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin released a statement saying that in the next few weeks, 20% more Christian tourists are expected than visited last year.

In light of the anticipated wave of holiday tourists, the ministry said it is offering free shuttle service on buses every 30 minutes between Jerusalem and Bethlehem beginning on Christmas Eve through Christmas Day.