Israel News

News Digest — 9/18/23

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

Terrorist Stabbing Attack Foiled In Jerusalem

A terrorist attack was foiled in Jerusalem Monday morning (18th), hours after the end of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

The incident occurred at the Mazmuria checkpoint in the Har Homa neighborhood of southern Jerusalem, just north of the Gush Etzion district, when a Palestinian Arab drew a knife and ran toward a group of Border Police officers stationed at the checkpoint.

The Border Police officers spotted the terrorist approaching while brandishing the knife and opened fire, neutralizing him.  No Israelis were wounded in the incident.

The suspect was evacuated to the hospital, however a police statement did not provide details on the terrorist’s condition.

“A 47-year-old suspect, from Bethlehem who approached the Mazmuria checkpoint along the barrier in the Jerusalem envelope area east of Sur Baher, pulled out a knife against Border Police officers.  A Border Police officer spotted the suspect and opened fire and neutralized him.  None of our personnel were harmed,” a police spokesperson said.

According to a report by the Palestinian Authority WAFA outlet, the terrorist was not fatally wounded.

On Friday (15th) Israeli security personnel foiled a terrorist bombing attack in Tel Aviv and apprehended three suspects believed to be responsible for the attempt.

Israel’s security forces have been on elevated alert since the eve of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, following a wave of terrorist attacks that have made 2023 the deadliest year of terrorism since the Second Intifada.



Netanyahu Before Departing For The US: The Protesters Are Joining The PLO And Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu departed early Monday morning (18th) for the United States, where he will address the UN General Assembly in New York this weekend, and before that meet with US President Joe Biden.

At the start of his trip, Netanyahu will visit California and meet with the owner of X (formally Twitter), Elon Musk.

Before departing, the prime minister blasted the opponents of the judicial reform who plan to demonstrate against him in the US, saying, “Nothing surprises me.  The organizers of this protest are equipped with a lot of money.  These are sponsored and organized demonstrations that cross all boundaries.  They led to the fact that blocking roads became a normal thing, that violent harassment of public figures is an apparently normal thing, that refusal to serve is a normal thing.  Therefore when they go and slander Israel before the other nations, it also seems normal to them, but it’s not normal to me – when I was head of the opposition, I never did such a thing.”

Netanyahu also said, “This is the 12th time, I believe, that I’m going to appear at the United Nations as Prime Minister, there have always been demonstrations in favor of Israel and against Israel.  But this time we are seeing demonstrations against Israel by [Israeli] people joining up with the PLO, Iran and others.  Nothing is surprising anymore, but that will not prevent me from representing Israel proudly and in the best way I can for all its citizens.”

On his trip to the US, Netanyahu said, “I am now leaving for the UN General Assembly where I will represent Israel before the nations of the world.  I will also meet with many world leaders, especially President Biden, with whom I will discuss – first and foremost, but among other topics – Iran and expanding the circle of peace.”

“I will also meet with the German Chancellor, the President of Ukraine, the President of Turkey, and many additional leaders from Asia, Europe and Africa.  I must say it is moving to see the many requests for meetings.  Unfortunately, I cannot meet with all the leaders who made requests but I hope to meet with most of them,” added Netanyahu.

“Today the world is seeing – and I will certainly emphasize this – that Iran is violating all of its commitments, that it brazenly lies, and that it intends both to develop nuclear weapons and continues its aggression in the region.  We will confront both of these together.  I heard the threats from an official of the Iranian regime today – I suggest that he not threaten us.  He and his regime need to know that we will respond forcefully to any attack on our people and our citizens.”

On the upcoming meeting with Musk, Netanyahu said, “I will start this visit in California where I intend to meet the current leader of the most dramatic development in the new age and perhaps in general, Elon Musk.  I will discuss artificial intelligence with him and I will also work toward encouraging him to invest in Israel in the coming years.  He is, to a large degree, paving the way that will change the face of humanity and also the face of the State of Israel.  Israel needs to be a leader in artificial intelligence, just as we turned it into a leader in cyber, so we will do this field as well.”

National Unity Chairman MK Benny Gantz condemned Netanyahu’s statements saying, in part, “The time has come to stop the judicial coup and to make order in the government instead of blaming the protesters.” 



Under Increased Security: Record Number Of Jews Visit Temple Mount On Rosh Hashanah

403 Jews went to the Temple Mount on Sunday (17th) for prayers on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, led by Rabbi Israel Ariel, Rabbi Chaim Ozer Chait, Rabbi Eliyahu Weber, and Rabbi Yehuda Glick.

The entire procedure was held under the direct supervision of the Jerusalem District Police Commissioner, Major General Doron Turgeman, and the Commander of the Old City, Avi Cohen, all passing safely and calmly without riots or disturbances.

The Temple Mount was opened to Jews this year only on the second day of Rosh Hashanah since the first day of the Jewish New Year fell on Shabbat, and the Temple Mount has been closed to Jews on Saturdays since the year 2000.

The Temple Mount administration congratulated the police chiefs and thanked them for the significant effort they put in over the past week to thwart terrorist attacks and to allow Jews to ascend the Temple Mount without interruption.

Thousands are expected to ascend the Temple Mount on the ten days of repentance, on the Eve of Yom Kippur [the Day of Atonement], and on Yom Kippur itself.



Palestinians Rioted On Gaza Border For Second Time In Days; 5 Said Wounded

Hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip rioted on the border with Israel on Sunday afternoon (17th) for the second time in days.

The Israel Defense Forces said the rioters set fire to tires and detonated explosive devices on the security barrier.

Troops responded with crowd dispersal means and live fire in some cases.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip said five Palestinians were wounded.

The Hamas terror group, which rules the territory, appears to have resumed regular violent protests along the frontier, with an increasing number of riots in recent weeks.

On Friday, (15th) the IDF carried out a drone strike against a Hamas observation post in the Gaza Strip in response to renewed rioting along the border.

The rioting on Friday (15th) and Sunday (17th) came as Israel security forces were on high alert during the Rosh Hashanah holiday, and a rise in warnings and intelligence tips about possible terror attacks.

There have been several other riots along the Gaza border in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, (13th) six Palestinian rioters were killed, during an attempt to detonate a bomb on the border amid a riot.

The recent riots signal a return by Hamas and other terrorist factions in the Gaza Strip to a policy of regular mass protests and violence along the border, as Hamas seeks to draw attention to the worsening living conditions in the impoverished coastal strip after Qatar, one of the biggest donors of the regime, cut back on monthly disbursements.

Weekly protests along the border began at the end of March 2018 and continued almost every Friday until the end of 2019, with the demand that Israel lift its restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of the coastal enclave and a call for the return of Palestinian refugees, and their descendants to lands that are part of the Jewish state.   

Israel says its blockade of Gaza is necessary to prevent Hamas from freely arming itself for war and attacks against the Jewish state, which Hamas has vowed to destroy.



UNESCO Votes To List Ruins Near Ancient Jericho As ‘A World Heritage Site’ In ‘Palestine’

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – A UN conference voted Sunday (17th) to list the ruins near the ancient city of Jericho as a “World Heritage Site in Palestine,” a decision that angered Israel, as Jericho plays a big part in the history of the Jewish people, and Israel does not recognize a Palestinian state.

Jericho is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities on earth, and is in a part of the West Bank that is administered by the Palestinian Authority.  The listing refers to the Tel-Sultan archeological site nearby, which contains prehistoric ruins dating back to the ninth millennium BCE and is outside the ancient city itself.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the UN World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under the auspices of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The ancient city of Jericho joins three other “UNESCO World Heritage Sites in ‘Palestine:’” the Church of the Nativity and the pilgrimage route in Bethlehem, the cultural landscape of southern Jerusalem and Battir, and the Old City in Hebron.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it viewed the move as “another sign of Palestinians’ cynical use of UNESCO and Politicization of the organization” and promised to work “to change the distorted decisions that have been made.”

Israel quit UNESCO in 2019, accusing it of being biased against it and of diminishing its connection to the Holy Land.  Israel also objected to UNESCO’s acceptance of Palestine as a member state in 2011.  But Israel remains a party to the World Heritage Convention, and it sent a delegation to the meeting in Riyadh.

Israel captured the West Bank, along with Gaza and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.  The Palestinians want all three territories for their future state:  Israel views the West Bank territories of Judah and Samaria as the biblical and cultural heartland of the Jewish people.

Paris-based UNESCO began the World Heritage list in 1978.  It includes a broad array of  over 1,000 sites – from the Acropolis in Athens to the Great Wall of China – nominated by their respective nations.

Ahead of the vote Sunday (17th), Likud MK Dan Illouz wrote on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, that he had written to UNESCO head Audrey Azoulay, that, “Jericho is first and foremost a city of Biblical significance.”

 “Blurring this fact is an insult to the millions of Jews and Christians all over the world,” he said.

“Such a decision constitutes a blatant interference by UNESCO in a conflict in which it is not its role to intervene,” Illouz charged.  “It is our duty to stop the Palestinian Authority’s  subversion and insist on our right to our land,” he added.