November 29, 2018

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

Control Over Gaza – In Exchange For New Elections

Leaders of the Hamas terrorist organization are prepared to restore direct control over the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah, according to a report by the Lebanon-based pro-Hizbullah Al-Mayadeen network.

Under the terms of the October 2017 reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority’s ruling party, Fatah, the Gaza-based terror group agreed to restore control over the coastal enclave to Ramallah.

As part of the agreement, Fatah promised to form a new unity government with Hamas, and to resume payments in full for public services in the Gaza Strip.

But the deal was never fully implemented, missing the December 1st deadline for the transfer of power.

On Tuesday (27th), however, it was reported that Hamas leaders had expressed a willingness to transfer power over the Gaza Strip to Fatah control.

The offer does come with a catch, according to the report.  Hamas has demanded that the Palestinian Authority follow through with its promise to form a unity government with Hamas.  The new unity government must be formed within 45 days, Hamas leaders reportedly demanded.

In addition, Hamas has set new elections as a condition for its surrender of control over the Strip.

The Palestinian Authority last held general elections for the PA Legislative Council in January 2006.

According to the Al-Mayadeen report, Hamas has demanded that new elections be held in the next six months.



Palestinian Authority Abducts Jerusalem Arab For Selling Land To Jews

In Mid-October, an Arab resident of eastern Jerusalem by the name of Issam Akel was essentially abducted by the Palestinian Authority’s intelligence service known locally as the GIS.  His crime was selling property in the Holy City to Jews.

The Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction over any part of Jerusalem, making Akel’s arrest illegal, especially given that he holds an Israeli identity card as a permanent resident of the Jewish state.

Akel is also an American citizen, and the US Consulate arranged with the Palestinian Authority to let his wife visit him in prison.  She later reported that her husband was in very bad shape following weeks of imprisonment, and, given the PA’s track record, most likely tortured.

Israel itself is working to secure Akel’s freedom.  The most visible step has been to arrest the PA’s “Jerusalem Governor” Adnan Ghaith, who was almost certainly involved in Akel’s abduction.

Israel has also imposed a travel ban on the PA’s Minister for Jerusalem, Adnan Husseini, until Akel is released.

But a senior officer in the IDF’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said that much tougher action must be taken on Akel’s behalf.  He suggested taking direct action against the Palestinian Authority intelligence services, and possibly even their boss, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority security forces, on “direct orders” from PA Leader Mahmoud Abbas, are continuing to go after eastern Jerusalem residents suspected of selling properties to Israeli Jews, Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh revealed on Thursday (22nd).



Jews Expelled From Arab States Call On UN To Recognize Their Plight

Seventy years after the exodus and expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from Arab states and Iran, the heads of communities of Jews from Arab countries are demanding the United Nations officially recognize the suffering they were forced to endure.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, community leaders, among them Dr. Shimon Ohayon of Bar-Ilan University’s Dahan Center and chairman of the Alliance of Moroccan immigrants wrote, “While the UN organizes events to mark the departure of 450,000 Palestinians from Israel upon the establishment of the state, following a war imposed on Israel, we do not see recognition of the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries.”

They said, “We believe the UN strives for justice for all refugees around the world, including Jewish refugees who were expelled from Arab lands.  We therefore seek to establish a memorial day for the Jews’ expulsion from Arab lands.”

Bar-Ilan University set up and hosted a symposium on Tuesday (27th) on the subject to educate members of the younger generation about this part of Jewish history.

The State of Israel is set to commemorate the Jewish expulsion on Friday, November 30.



South Korea To Buy Israeli Early Warning Radar To Deter North, Despite Thaw

SEOUL – South Korea plans to buy two Israeli early warning radar systems, it said on Tuesday (27th), as it reinforces air defenses against North Korea despite fast-improving relations.

The decision to adopt the two Green Pine Block C radar systems, built by ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, was made at a defense acquisition committee, Seoul’s arms procurement agency, DAPA, said.

DAPA did not specify the value of the order, but an official at the defense ministry put it at $292 million, saying the systems would be deployed in the early 2020s.

The project is intended to boost South Korea’s capabilities to “detect and track ballistic missiles from a long distance at an early stage,” DAPA said in a statement.  It did not mention North Korea.

But South Korea’s defense ministry said last December it would buy additional early warning radars after North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile and declared completion of the “state nuclear force” a month earlier.

Reclusive North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.



43% Of Dutch Jews Say They Hide Their Ethnic Identity

AMSTERDAM – Nearly half of 557 respondents in a survey of Dutch Jews said they were afraid of identifying as such.

Of the respondents, 43% said they take active steps to hide their Jewish identity, such as wear a hat over their kippah or hide Star of David pendants.

Many respondents cited their perception of a rise in the prevalence of anti-Semitic sentiment, with 48% saying they avoid situations where they suspect they may be exposed to anti-Semitic reactions.

The results of the survey were published Monday (26th).

Other key findings were that 52% of respondents said anti-Semitism on the street has become more common, 59% said it extends also to media and 82% see it rising online.

When it came to experiencing anti-Semitism, 34% said they had experienced racially offensive remarks directed against them, and of those, 89% said that those remarks were connected to Israel.  11% of respondents said they had experienced anti-Semitic violence directed against them.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they heard anti-Semitic jokes, featuring stereotypes about Jews.  Other jokes involved the Holocaust. One respondent said a neighbor once told him that “the only reason you are living in the Netherlands is because they forgot to gas your family.”  

The poll was conducted by the Een Vanddag television show of the NPO 1 channel with the JMW Jewish group and the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands.