January 15, 2018

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

Netanyahu gets ‘surprise welcome’ to India by PM Modi, calls ties ‘a great blessing’

Israeli Prime Minister  Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara arrived in Delhi Sunday (14th), where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to welcome them in person.  The Minister of State for External Affairs was originally scheduled to greet them.

“I very much appreciate the gesture,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu’s official visit marks 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and takes place some six months after Modi’s historic visit to Israel in July.

Prior to his departure from Israel, the Israeli leader said the enhanced ties between the two countries are “a great blessing for the State of Israel.”



IDF destroys terror tunnel penetrating Egypt and Israeli border crossing

The IDF announced Sunday (14th) it had destroyed a cross-border Hamas attack tunnel in southern Gaza, the third such tunnel demolished by the army in recent months.

The army’s announcement came after the Israeli Air Force bombed the tunnel, located close to the border with Egypt Saturday night (13th), and said that it was shutting down the Kerem Shalom border crossing, which facilitates the entry of supplies into the Gaza Strip daily, until further notice.



General says ‘Jewish brains’ found solution to eliminate all Hamas tunnels

An IDF general on Sunday (14th) said the Israeli military, helped by the “Jewish brain” had devised a solution that would see all of Hamas’ cross-border tunnels into Israel destroyed.

Speaking in Arabic to U.S.-based satellite TV station Alhurra, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said that “the Israeli genius along with the Jewish brain have come up with a solution to all of the terrorists’ tunnels.”

“Just like there is ‘Iron Dome’ for the air, there’s a technological umbrella of steel underground,” he said.  “I want to send a message to everyone who is digging or gets too close to the tunnels: As you’ve seen in the past two months, these tunnels bring only death,” he added.



Bennett: Tunnel threat to pass within a year

Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett said Sunday evening (14th), “In recent months the defense establishment and the Israel Defense Forces have been systematically engaged in destroying the array of terrorist tunnels penetrating from Gaza into the State of Israel.”

Responding to news of the destruction of such a tunnel over the weekend, Bennett told a conference of the Forum of Deputies in Local Government, “In about a year, we’ll be able to announce that the threat of the tunnels in Gaza has passed.”



Abbas: ‘Israel a colonial project that has nothing to do with Jews’

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said during a conference of the PLO’s Central Committee that “Israel is a colonial project and has nothing to do with Jews.”

“Europeans wanted to bring Jews here to preserve their interests in the region,” Abbas added.

On the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the reason for the conference, Abbas said that, “Jerusalem has been taken off the table with one swift tweet from Mr. Trump.  We will not accept his deal.  The deal of the decade has become the slap in the face of the decade.”



Posters in Jerusalem declare city the ‘capital of Palestine’

Posters reading, “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine” in Arabic were placed on several of the city’s streets on Saturday (13th).

Salah ad-Din Street, where the Justice Ministry and Jerusalem District Court are located, was among the targeted streets, along with Sultan Suleiman Street, where posters were placed on utility poles.

Maor Tzemach, chairman of the Lach Yerushalayim (“For You, Jerusalem”) advocacy group, which seeks to safeguard Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem said, “Unified Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of Israel for more than 3,000 years.  No incitement or poster will change this fact.”



Hamas official in Lebanon wounded in car bomb, organization blames Israel

Mohamed Hamdan, a Palestinian Hamas member, survived an attempt on his life Sunday (14th) after a bomb planted in his car in southern Lebanon detonated, wounding him, the Lebanon military and the terror group said, with Hamas blaming Israel as the culprit without providing evidence.

Hizbullah’s al-Manar TV said the blast took place in a residential area and destroyed Hamdan’s silver BMW.

(reuters.com; ap.com)


Shame: Ways Israel is treated differently – David Harris

Israel is treated according to a totally different standard than other countries in the international system.  Of course, Israel deserves attention and scrutiny as does every other nation.  But it also merits equal treatment – nothing more, nothing less.

Israel is the only state whose capital city, Jerusalem, is not recognized by almost all other countries.  It is the only UN member-state whose very right to exist is under constant challenge.  Israel is the only UN member-state that’s been targeted for annihilation by another UN member-state – Iran.

Israel is the only country that has won all its major wars for survival and self-defense, yet is confronted by defeated adversaries who have insisted on dictating the terms of peace.  Israel is annually targeted by more UN resolutions than the other 192 UN member states combined.



Teenage girl’s face slashed in Paris suburb in suspected anti-Semitic assault

Days after the suspected torching of two kosher shops near Paris, a Jewish teenager had her face slashed by an unidentified assailant on a street in the suburb of Sarcelles.

Francois Pupponi, a lawmaker in the French parliament and former mayor of Sarcelles, on Friday (12th) called the assault Wednesday (10th) on the 15-year-old victim, “a heinous anti-Semitic attack.”

The victim was wearing the uniform of her private Jewish school, when the attack happened during lunch break Wednesday.  She was able to walk home and arrived bleeding and “shocked,” her mother told local media.

The assailant ran away immediately after the assault.  The young girl did not see his face.



Sobibor uprising hero dies at age 96

Arkady Wajspapir, a key figure in the 1943 uprising at the Sobibor death camp, died in Kiev at the age of 96.

Wajspapir killed at least one Nazi soldier during the uprising – the most bold and daring act by Jewish inmates, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

He died on Thursday (11th), the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia wrote in a statement about the Red Army veteran.