Israel News

News Digest — 9/10/21

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

Report: Palestinian Authority Agrees To Help Israel Apprehend Fugitive Terrorists

Senior members of the Fatah movement’s steering committee and high-ranking Palestinian Authority security officials agreed in a meeting late Thursday (9th) to help Israel apprehend the fugitive prisoners who broke out of Gilboa Prison this week, a PA official told the Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar.

According to the paper, which is affiliated with Hezbollah, the PA is motivated to help Israel track down the fugitives in order to put an end to security tensions, which have spiked since the escape.

The paper reported that the current situation does not serve the interests of the PA, which wants to calm things down in order to complete its “economic peace” initiatives.

The report also said that the PA had conditioned its agreement to help Israeli forces capture the escaped terrorists on a guarantee that the fugitives would not be killed, but returned to prison.

The report said that in a meeting on Thursday (9th), PA security officials had warned representatives of the IDF Civil Administration that if the fugitives were killed, it would cause tensions in Judea and Samaria to “explode.”

Al Akhbar also claimed that Israel agreed to a demand that PA head Mahmoud Abbas made two weeks ago in a meeting with Defense Minister Benny Gantz to release a few Palestinian prisoners in a gesture intended to improve the PA’s standing among Palestinians.



Palestinian-IDF Clashes Across The West Bank, Police Declare High Alert

Violent riots resumed Thursday night (9th) across the West Bank, including in Bethlehem, Jenin, Hebron, Qalqilya, Etzion and Nablus, Israel media reported, in a repeat of the hundreds-of-protestors-strong riots on Wednesday night (8th) in solidarity with the six escaped prisoners from Gilboa Prison.

In light of the rising tensions and the manhunt still underway for the escapees, police announced a state of Level 2 alert – the second highest level – preparing to secure gatherings before Friday (10th) prayers, News12 reported.  The police are getting ready for a state of emergency if the need arises, according to the report.

Earlier Thursday (9th), clashes erupted between Palestinians and IDF soldiers near the Eliyahu crossing in Qalqilya and Palestinian rioters opened fire towards IDF soldiers at the Jalama checkpoint, located between Mount Gilboa and Jenin, according to Palestinian media.

A cancellation of leave has been imposed on IDF soldiers of the Judea and Samaria Division due to the clashes.

The manhunt for the six terrorist security prison-escapees is still underway.  Reports are that two may have fled to Jordan and four to the Jenin area, in the West Bank.



‘Day Of Rage’ Declared By Palestinian Terror Groups Upset By Prison Crackdown

Terror groups including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have announced a “day of rage” for Friday (10th), encouraging Palestinians to take to the streets to demonstrate and violently confront Israeli security forces due to new prison policies.

“In light of the frenzied attack against our prisoners, we call on our Palestinian people to make Friday (10th) a day of Palestinian rage in the face of the arrogance of the occupation and its aggression against the prisoners,” read a statement from Hamas, which added that Palestinians should “head toward checkpoints and clash with the enemy army.”

Earlier this week, six prisoners, most of whom are affiliated with PIJ, escaped from Gilboa Prison after a series of embarrassing security blunders.

In response, Israel’s prisons commissioner has put forth new policies aimed at stepping up security.

Hundreds of PIJ prisoners are slated to be transferred from prisons in Israel’s north to the south.  Additionally, members of the movement will be forbidden from sharing cells with one another.

Also, family visits for Palestinian security prisoners have been suspended indefinitely.

The announcement of the policies has enraged Palestinian terror groups, who called the measures “repressive” and provocative enough to spark “a new intifada.”

In a statement, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry called the new Israeli policies tantamount to “war crimes and crimes against humanity,”



Israel Authorizes Slovakian Embassy Branch In Jerusalem

Israel granted Slovakia permission on Thursday (9th) to open an office of its embassy in Jerusalem.

Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll gave the official authorization letter to Slovakian Ambassador Igor Mauks.

“This is an important step in Israel-Slovakia relations and another important step in the international recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Roll stated.  “The Slovakian mission will promote cultural, technological and economic cooperation for the good of both nations.”

Slovakia pledged to open a cultural office in Jerusalem in 2018, after then-US President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel’s capital and put pressure on the international community to follow suit.

Current US President Joe Biden has not continued the pressure, but former foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi raised the matter with Slovakian Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok, and current Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also spoke to him about it.

In July, Bratislava announced its representation in Jerusalem of an embassy office, under the auspices of its Foreign Ministry.

In recent years, the Czech Republic and Hungary opened offices of their Tel Aviv embassies in Jerusalem, and Brazil opened a trade mission.

The EU, of which Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary are member states, opposes any change in the diplomatic status of Jerusalem unless it follows a two-state solution.

“Slovakia is deepening relations with #Israel by opening the Slovak Institute in #Jerusalem on September 1, 2021.” Korcok tweeted in July, adding that Slovakia “continues to support the resumption of the Middle East Peace Process & 2-state solution in the w/international law.”

Only four countries have embassies in Jerusalem: the US, Guatemala, Honduras and Kosovo, while Equatorial Guinea and Malawi said they will move their embassies there as well.



Taliban: We Want Ties With The Whole World Except For Israel

The Taliban, the extremist Islamist movement once famously insular, is ready, so they say, to build relations with the world – except with Israel.

Suhail Shaheen, the spokesman for the movement that assumed control of Afghanistan last month, told Sputnik News that his country is ready to work with the United States and other countries in rebuilding the Asian land.

“Yes, of course, in a new chapter if America wants to have a relationship with us, which could be in the interest of both countries, and if they want to participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, they are welcome,” Shaheen told the Russian government-run news agency.

“Of course, we won’t have any relations with Israel.  We want to have relations with other countries, Israel is not among these countries.” 

Shaheen gave an interview last month to an Israeli state broadcaster as the Taliban was taking control of the country and the Biden administration was ending America’s 20-year military presence in Afghanistan.  Ahsheen later said he did not realize he was speaking to an Israeli journalist.

The last time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, they were known for their insularity and rejected foreign influence and assistance.



More Than 100 Headstones Smashed At Jewish Cemetery In Argentina

More than 100 headstones were smashed at a Jewish cemetery in Argentina that had seen similar damage in 2009.

The vandalism at the Tablada Cemetery in the Buenos Aires area was discovered on Sunday (5th) the Jewish news site Visavis reported.  The headstones were between the cemetery’s older section and the new one, which also contains the remains of dozens of victims from the 1994 terrorist bombing at the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

AMIA, the umbrella of Argentine Jewish communities, condemned the vandalism and lamented the “neglect and lack of control” by law enforcement around the cemetery in La Matanza, an eastern district of the Argentine capital.  Police are investigating, AMIA said in a statement.  It did not say whether there are indications of the vandalism being an anti-Semitic hate crime.  There are no suspects.

In 2009, unidentified individuals defaced more than 60 headstones, including victims of the 1994 bombing.  That vandalism also happened shortly before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which this year began on Monday evening (6th).  AMIA did call that vandalism anti-Semitic.