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Today's News

Oct. 9, 2015




Eight Israelis Were Stabbed Thursday Across Israel



Starting in the early morning hours, rocks were thrown at Israelis before the first stabbing occurred around noon in Jerusalem. Police said the attacker, a 19-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem, was “neutralized” within minutes. He was unharmed and was being questioned by police. Initial reports, corrected by police, had said he was 15. The terror attack took place at the light rail stop near the Israel Police’s national headquarters close to Ammunition Hill.


The victim, an Israeli citizen, was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem with the knife still lodged in his neck. Doctors rushed him into emergency surgery. Later the hospital said he was in stable condition.


Another terrorist stabbed five Israelis with a screwdriver in Tel Aviv before being neutralized by an Israeli Air Force officer. An Israeli was also stabbed in Hebron, and a 20-year-old soldier was stabbed in Afula.


The surge in terror attacks continues to be fueled by Palestinian leaders who refuse to condemn the violence or demand an end to it. The Palestinian Authority  also repeatedly promotes rumors and incites violence by claiming that Israel is trying to undermine Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. Times of Israel journalist Elhanan Miller wrote: “Abbas and his government have effectively been echoing the rumors and misinformation disseminated on Palestinian social media, rather than refuting them.”


After meeting on Thursday, the Palestinian cabinet released a statement calling on Israeli leaders to be “held accountable for their decision to allow the occupation forces to kill and assassinate defenseless children and civilians, who have become a permanent target for acts of summary executions and cold-blooded murder.”


PA President Mahmoud Abbas maintained on Tuesday that the “Palestinian side didn’t attack, nor did it carry out any act against Israelis. The residents of Jerusalem are acting in self defense, which is our right. We must all protect our holy sites — the Islamic and Christian ones. If they [the Israelis] think of dividing al-Aqsa, that will never happen.”


On its Facebook page, Abbas’ Fatah party posted an image with burning tires, a kufiya-clad youth throwing rocks, and a knife with the phrase “#third intifada.” In September, on Palestinian television, Abbas declared, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem … With the help of Allah, every shaheed (martyr) will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”


In a press conference Thursday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that even though the terror attacks are mostly unorganized, “they are all the result of wild and mendacious incitement by Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, several countries in the region and – no less and frequently much more – the Islamic Movement in Israel,” especially when it comes to spreading lies that Israel intends to alter the status quo at the Temple Mount.


Netanyahu’s Temple Mount Boomerang

 By DEBKAfile (Analysis)


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon seemed to believe that an order to Jewish cabinet ministers and Knesset members Thursday, Oct. 8, to stop visiting Temple Mount would be the winning step for de-escalating the current Palestinian rock-throwing, firebomb and stabbing rampage.


They were wrong. No sooner was the order released than it became a boomerang. Israeli Arab lawmakers announced that they would visit Temple Mount and Al Aqsa regardless. The prime minister's order gave the Israeli Arab community’s political leaders an opening for joining the campaign waged on behalf of the Palestinians by the radical Israeli Islamist movement, led by Sheikh Raad Saleh for making Temple Mount into a flaming shared anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish arena of confrontation. The Temple Mount issue gave Israeli Arabs a legitimate pretext for demonstrating their solidarity with the Palestinians in their campaign of anti-Israel terror.


If Netanyahu hoped that elected Arab lawmakers would be responsible enough to lend a hand in a move meant to quench the flames of violence and save lives, he missed the point. Israeli Arab lawmaker Jamal Zahalke, chairman of the United Arab faction, made straight for Temple Mount, only to be stopped by police at Lions Gate (the scene of two fatal stabbing attacks against Israelis) and barred entry.


He thereupon pulled out a press release and intoned: “I am standing at Lions Gate after being unlawfully prevented from entering Temple Mount. I don’t give a fig for Netanyahu and his decisions.”


Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi announced that he would lead a large group of prominent Israel Arabs on a visit to Temple Mount the next day to attend Friday prayers at Al Aqsa Mosque. He dismissed the prime minister’s gesture as “crazy.”


By snatching at the lead role of the current Palestinian campaign of terror, with all its murderous dimensions, the political representatives of the Israel Arab community have crossed a red line which until now they prudently avoided. Once they present themselves at the gates of Temple Mount, the clock can’t be turned back in a hurry. Zahalke and Tibbi become part of the rampaging Palestinian street over which no one has overall control.


The seven security forces battalions subject to the Palestinian Authority assert limited control over segments of that street – but no more. No one at PA headquarters in Ramallah has any say in the Palestinian street; neither does any Arab ruler in the region.


This explains the hollowness of calls by Israeli opposition leaders Yitzhak Herzog, Tzipi Livni, Yair Lapid and Amos Yadlin to seek a “regional accommodation” for resolving the Palestinian question. The Kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan and the Egyptian president are overtaxed by their own burning problems and have made it clear that they have no time for the never-ending Palestinian question.


So it’s over to Israel. The Netanyahu government needs to get its act together and shift its focus to curbing Palestinian violence by an effective counter-terror strategy - away from counter-productive steps for deterring Jews and hoping against hope for diplomatic points overseas. 



Abbas' PLO: Murdering Jews is a 'National Duty'


In the wake of the murder of Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin last Thursday, Palestinian Authority  Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction and the Palestine Liberation Organization have escalated their justification of terror and calls for more attacks.


PLO Executive Committee member Mahmoud Ismail appeared on official PA TV this Tuesday, where he called the murder a "national duty," and left open the question as to whether Hamas or Fatah conducted it. His comments were translated by Palestinian Media Watch.


The host of the official PA TV broadcast asked Ismail whether the murderers of the Henkins hailed from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades - the "armed wing" of Abbas' Fatah - or rather from Hamas. "There is no need to return to the argument and dispute about who carried out the operation...there is no need to announce it and boast of having done it. One fulfills his national duty voluntarily, as best as one can," said Ismail. Aside from calling the murder a "national duty," the PLO official's statement is significant in that he apparently intended to keep open the speculation that Fatah conducted the attack.


The IDF has nabbed the Hamas terror cell that conducted the murder, but prior to that the Martyr Abdul-Qader al-Husseini Brigades, an "armed wing" of Fatah, claimed responsibility for the murder, in a claim later reiterated by a senior Fatah official. The Martyr Abdul-Qader al-Husseini Brigades went on to post photos of its members passing out candy to celebrate the attack.


Ironically, Abbas said the PA will not honor the 1994 Oslo Accords at the UN just last week - the Oslo Accords created the PA, and removed the international status as a terrorist organization from both Fatah and the PLO.


In an apparent sign of how the distinctions between Hamas and Fatah are being negated despite their long-standing violent rivalry at the prospect of a new terror wave, Abbas has invited Hamas and Islamic Jihad to join the PLO and achieve "Palestinian independence."


Aside from Ismail, Fatah Central Committee Member Jamal Muhaisen was quoted by the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on Wednesday making similar statements. "The settlers' presence is illegal, and therefore every measure taken against them is legitimate and legal," he said, in a justification of the attacks.


Despite Abbas' protestations that he doesn't seek a "military escalation" with Israel, Muhaisen added that "it is important that the popular uprising increases," in a direct call for more terror attacks.



Palestinian Authority Makes Huge Payouts to Convicted Terrorists

 By DEBKAfile


The Palestinian Authority has for years paid out - and still pays out - hundreds of thousands of shekels to individual Palestinian terrorists sentenced in Israel to long jail sentences for multiple murder, according to official PA documents. 


Among them are Hamas operatives responsible for deadly attacks in Israel, such as Hamas bombmaker Abdullah Barghouti, who is serving a 67 life sentences (for 67 murders). He has so far received 4 million shekels (around $1 million); and Ibrahim Hamed, head of the Hamas West Bank military wing, who has received 200,000 shekels since he was sentenced to 54 life terms.


Every rank-and-file terrorist is awarded a stipend of up to 10,000 shekels per month while behind bars. Under the reign of Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, therefore, the rewards of terror are substantial and long-lasting.


'Chained Man' Free As Court Demands Woman Accept Divorce



While there are many examples of husbands who refuse to grant their wives a Jewish divorce – making those women agunot, or “chained women” who are not allowed to remarry, the opposite can also occur – and on Thursday, the High Court said that sanctions placed on a woman who refused to accept a divorce from her husband, rendering him unable to remarry under Israeli law, were appropriate. As a result, the woman will have to pay NIS 2,000 a week in fines until she accepts the divorce. The money will go to the state treasury.


Women who refuse to accept their divorce, or get, usually do so for financial reasons, the Rabbinate said – either because they are receiving ongoing income from their estranged husband, or because they want a redistribution of wealth beyond what is specified in their marriage contract.


Under Jewish law, men in the modern era are not allowed to marry a second woman, as women are not allowed to marry another man until they received a proper Jewish divorce. While the phenomenon of men refusing to grant a get is more widespread, Rabbinate officials said that there were hundreds of cases of “chained men,” too.


In the case under consideration by the Court, the original divorce was approved by a Rabbinical Court in 2008 – but the woman refused to willingly accept the document, as required by Jewish law. Her husband brought several actions against her in Rabbinical Court, but to no avail, eventually suing her and receiving a judgment against her in 2013, with sanctions issued by the Rabbinical Court.


The woman, however, refused to pay the sanctions – and petitioned the High Court against them, claiming that the Rabbinical Court had no authority to sanction her. On Thursday, High Court justice Miriam Naor said she disagreed – confirming the Rabbinical Court decision and imposing the NIS 2,000 weekly fine on the woman.


According to Naor, “After examining the case I found no cause to cancel these sanctions. The divorce was granted seven years ago, and has still not been fulfilled. The defendant has not shown, at least until now, any valid reason for her refusal to accept the divorce.” In a statement, the Chief Rabbinate said that the sanctions were an “important tool” in motivating recalcitrant husbands and wives to free their spouses.






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 Paradise Regained, Paradise Lost

By Don Canaan (Commentary)

This year marked the 34th anniversary of the return of the Sinai by Israel to Egypt--a day of mourning by many of the 2,000 settlers who settled and later were forcibly evacuated by Israeli authorities under the command of Ariel Sharon, from the seaside city of Yamit on the Mediterranean.

Yamit was former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan's dream--a projected seaport and city of 250,000 founded on the Sinai sand dunes overlooking date palm trees and the blue Mediterranean--a populated buffer between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on the other side of the Suez Canal.

Some alternate historians say Moses and the children of Israel passed near the site of Yamit 3,500 years ago as they wandered for 40 years through the Sinai Desert on their way to the proverbial land of milk and honey.

Since April 25, 1982 only the whine of the desert wind weaves its currents through the crevices of destroyed homes, businesses and monument--a memorial to the young men who died during the 1967 Six Day war.

Christians, Jews and Muslims died during three Arab-Israeli wars and battles that took place in the Sinai in 1956, 1967 and 1973--Egyptian and Israeli--young people who fought and died in that desolate, forsaken desert wasteland.

The modern-day chariot carrying Egyptian President Mohammed Anwar al-Sadat hugged the intermittently green coastline of Sinai on its historic mission to Jerusalem. Israelis glancing upward into the clear night sky saw merely a jet banking gently to the northwest.

Official Israeli government policy was that the settlers had to be removed and the army came and forcibly removed the remaining diehard residents. The Jerusalem Post described the scene: Apocalypse had arrived in Yamit and in the dust and noise and destruction one could wander freely. Dozens of bulldozers and giant mobile air hammers were loose in the city like a pack of predatory beasts."

April 25, 20011 marked the 29th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from Yamit and Sinai and a cold peace between long-term enemies.

That gift of peace silently glided overhead as the Sabbath disappeared and the stars appeared. At 8:01 p.m. Sadat's jetliner landed at Ben-Gurion Airport and the first minutes of a then potential peace came to the Middle East.

Old enemies became new friends. The crowds roared its approval when Sadat shook hands with Moshe Dayan. A person standing nearby, according to the Jerusalem Post, said Sadat told Dayan, "Don't worry Moshe, it will be all right."

The peace treaty between the two nations was signed on March 26, 1979 and on April 25, 1982; the events that had started on a November day at Camp David came to fruition. Sinai was returned to Egypt. Yamit was bulldozed to the ground. But Anwar Sadat did not live to see that day. He had been assassinated seven months before.



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