January 16, 2018

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

PM in India: ‘Israel is systematically destroying tunnels, do not try us’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented Sunday evening (14th) on the IDF’s detonation of the terror tunnel running underneath Kerem Shalom the previous day (Saturday, 13th), and said, “Even here in India my thoughts are with you the IDF soldiers, and on the wonderful work you’ve done in taking out another tunnel.”

“We are systematically demolishing Hamas and the Islamic Jihad’s tunnel infrastructures, and they would do well not to try us,” the prime minister warned.



Report: Hamas tunnel was built to blow up main humanitarian crossing in Gaza

The Hamas attack tunnel destroyed by the IDF Saturday (13th) was built for a planned attack on the border crossing where most of the humanitarian aid, food and fuel enter Gaza, Israel’s Hadashot TV reported Sunday (14th).  The tunnel ran underneath the Kerem Shalom Gaza crossing as well as below major gas and diesel pipelines, IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said.  An explosion beneath the area would have caused mass casualties among the hundreds of people who work there everyday.  The army spokesperson credited the discovery and the destruction of the tunnel to a combination of “cutting-edge” technology and intelligence.



With tunnel under Gaza crossing, Hamas tried to deceive both Israel and Egypt – Ron Ben-Yishai

The tunnel’s exposure will likely make it clear to the Egyptians that Hamas tried to deceive them.  The Egyptians likely never imagined that Hamas would dare to dig a tunnel under Israeli territory which would reach Sinai.

Israeli Air Force planes used particularly accurate and heavy ammunition to destroy the tunnel shaft on the Palestinian side, while other IDF forces – mainly engineering and infantry units – quietly destroyed the route of the tunnel on Israeli territory.

Relations between Cairo and Hamas have greatly improved in recent months, so one can only imagine the conversation Hamas leaders will have with Egyptian intelligence officials demanding explanations on the nature of this tunnel that also was built under Egyptian territory.



Israel announces ban on medical aid to Hamas family members

The Israeli government announced Monday (15th) that no members of Hamas nor their families will be allowed to enter the country, not even for humanitarian reasons Arutz-7 reported.

Until now, only a few of the terrorist organizations’ top leaders have been banned, even though the security cabinet had decided several months ago to deny entry to all senior members and their families as well as to restrict visitation rights of Hamas terrorists in Israeli jails.



Israel seizes military gear en route to Gaza terrorists

Israeli authorities exposed and seized a massive shipment of thousands of military-grade clothing items bound for Gaza, presumably to be used by one of the terror organizations that operate there.

Ashdod Port customs inspectors, who routinely inspect cargo destined for the Gaza Strip, recently discovered the largest ever consignment of military gear destined for the Strip. Including thousands of military uniforms, and vests for holding military equipment.  Also included were thousands of pairs of special military boots and winter jackets in camouflage colors.

(worldisraelnews.com; israelnn.com)


U.S. wants to cut funds for UN Palestinian refugee agency – Matthew Lee and Julie Pace

President Trump hasn’t made a final decision, but it appears more likely that the U.S. will send only $60 million of the planned $125 million first installment to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, according to U.S. officials.

Future contributions would require the agency to demonstrate significant changes in operations, they said.

The plan to withhold some of the money is backed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis, who offered it as a compromise to demand for more drastic measures by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who wants a complete cutoff in U.S. money until the Palestinians resume peace talks with Israel.

(ap.com; sfchronicle.com)


Turkey building walls on Iranian, Syrian borders – Orhan Coskun and Tuvan Gumrukcu

Turkey has completed  more than half of a 89 mile wall on its border with Iran and will finish it next spring, the firm building the barrier said.  Turkey is also building a 566 mile wall on the border with Syria that is 98% complete.



Israel to celebrate 70th birthday with 70-hour spectacle

Israel will celebrate 70 years of independence this year, and Culture Minister Miri Regev on Monday (15th) promised a massive party, as she revealed some of the plans for the anniversary events.

“I thought it would be appropriate to implement a concept of ongoing events, beginning with the Independence Day ceremony on Wednesday evening (3/18) and ending on Saturday evening (3/21): 70 hours of Israeli festivity that will bring citizens together across the country in varied and joyous events,” Regev said at a press conference where she unveiled the official logo for the nation’s 70th anniversary to be held under the tagline “A Legacy of Innovation.”



Israeli doctors successfully operate on Syrian refugee baby

Doctors in central Israel performed a successful operation on Sunday (14th) on a Syrian baby boy who had been flown to Israel from Cyprus three weeks ago for urgent medical treatment.

The baby is recovering and said to be in stable condition.  

The infant was only three days old when he arrived in Israel to undergo a procedure to correct a serious congenital heart defect.  The treatment was made available after the Cypriot Health Ministry reached out to Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus Sammy Revel and requested that he help bring the baby to Israel.



“We Remember” Holocaust memorial campaign spreads to 45 countries

Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, the World Jewish Congress has launched a global campaign encouraging millions of people to use social media to raise awareness about the Holocaust.

The campaign calls on people in every country to hold up a sign with the words “We Remember,” and post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #We Remember.

“Anti-Semitism is more prevalent today than it has been at any time since World War II, and bigotry and discrimination still rear their ugly heads all around the world.  This is why we all must declare, together, that “We Remember,” said WJC CEO Robert Singer.