Sivan 13, 5772 / Sunday, Jun. 03 ’12

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Sivan 13, 5772 / Sunday, Jun. 03 ’12

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Headlines

  1. 1.      Ketzaleh: Beit El Demolition a Plot to Topple Netanyahu
  2. 2.      Peace Now to Govt: Pass Regulation Bill and We’ll Sue
  3. 3.      ‘IDF Commanders Cower in Face of PA Violence’
  4. 4.      PA Furious at EU for Hosting ‘Terrorist’ Yesha Leader
  5. 5.      PA Arabs Attack, Israelis’ Weapons Confiscated
  6. 6.      IAF Strikes Terror Targets in Gaza
  7. 7.      Similar Issue, Different Court Rules for Beit El, Modi’in Illit
  8. 8.      Clinton: U.S. Must See ‘Concrete Actions’ by Iran

1. Ketzaleh: Beit El Demolition a Plot to Topple Netanyahu

by Maayana Miskin

The real reasoning behind plans to demolish Israeli homes in Beit El is a plan to topple Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, MK Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz (Ichud Leumi) said Sunday.

“There are two people who have a bad influence on the Prime Minister and want him to fail,” Ketzaleh said. “The first is state secretary Tzvika Hauser, who has crossed all the red lines and sides with Peace Now and Yesh Din who want to demolish 9,000 homes in Judea and Samaria.”

The second is Defense Minister Ehud Barak, he said. “Barak knows that his time in office is over, and wants to bring Netanyahu down,” Ketzaleh said. He added, “I’m sure that if the Regulation Law falls on Wednesday – as the far-left Hauser and Barak want – Netanyahu will fall from power due to the destruction it will bring on thousands of people in Judea and Samaria.”

Ketzaleh called on members of Netanyahu’s government to fight back. “The ministers’ support for the [Regulation] bill will save Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, and will save the people of Israel from civil war and destruction,” he urged.

He warned them not to be persuaded by Netanyahu’s suggestion to move the homes. “We looked into it, and it’s impossible to ‘move’ the buildings,” he said. “They will be torn down to the very foundations.”

Ketzaleh also called on the general public to fight the planned demolition. “The Israeli public should come in its masses to the Ulpana neighborhood and build a tent city, to protect it with their bodies,” he suggested.

He called for “the grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters of the 70,000 Judea and Samaria residents who stand to be expelled from their homes… to call Likud ministers and Minister Lieberman and tell them to vote for the Regulation Bill on Wednesday.”

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2. Peace Now to Govt: Pass Regulation Bill and We’ll Sue

by Maayana Miskin

The left-wing Peace Now organization warned Sunday that passing the Regulation Bill will not stop widespread demolition in Judea and Samaria. If the Knesset passes the bill, said Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer, Peace Now will take the matter to the Supreme Court and get the new law overturned.

“The law is unconstitutional,” Oppenheimer declared. “The law allows theft, as long as the perpetrators are settlers and the victims are Palestinians.”

If put into effect, the law would affect Palestinian Authority Arabs “who are not citizens of Israel and do not have the right to vote,” he continued. “The result would be the Knesset’s rule over another people and the legislation of laws affecting people who cannot be part of the democratic process.”

The Regulation Law would stop the widespread use of home demolition to deal with Palestinian Authority claims to ownership of land within Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria. Instead of demolition, the law would provide those who can prove ownership with financial compensation.

The law would apply to Area C – parts of Judea and Samaria under full Israeli control.

Proponents of the bill say it would prevent groups like Peace Now from using PA Arabs as a tool to destroy Israeli homes. The PA claims to land ownership are often unproven or largely fictional, and in any case serve no practical purpose, they argue.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he currently opposes the bill due to concerns over the legal ramifications and the possible response from the international community.

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3. ‘IDF Commanders Cower in Face of PA Violence’

by Maayana Miskin

Local leaders responded angrily Sunday to a senior IDF commander’s claim that Yitzhar residents are increasing conflict in Samaria (Shomron). The town’s security team had its power to respond to violent incidents curtailed in response, and many team members had their weapons confiscated.

Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said it is the IDF that has responded inappropriately to Palestinian Authority violence, by failing to fight it effectively.

“Senior commanders are acting as cowards in the face of Arab violence in Judea and Samaria,” he accused. “They tremble like a leaf over the extreme Left’s slander.”

“Their cowardly, toothless response to far-left and Arab riots in the Yitzhar area is what is leading to conflict,” Mesika continued. “These riots could have been nipped in the bud, but certain senior commanders are tough only when it comes to Yitzhar’s security force – the members of which risked their lives to prevent an infiltration and an arson attack on homes.”

The senior commander who detailed accusations against the Yitzhar team mentioned the case of a PA Arab man who was shot and wounded by the team, then beaten by local youth. The PA man had been carrying a knife, the commander noted, and had smashed his cell phone in an attempt to demolish it after being shot.

What the commander failed to mention, Mesika said, was that the phone was later revealed to have photos of the PA man armed with a gun, strengthening suspicions that he was planning a terrorist attack. “It is bizarre but unsurprising that the senior commander censored that fact,” he said.

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4. PA Furious at EU for Hosting ‘Terrorist’ Yesha Leader

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

A Palestinian Authority minister has blasted the European Union for hosting Shomron leader Gershon Mesika, whom it called a “terrorist.”

Mesika two weeks spoke to the EU Foreign Affairs Commission of the Parliament in an unprecedented visit to the Brussels-based EU parliament. It was the first time a leader of Judea and Samaria spoke at an official parliamentary meeting, and it clearly infuriated the Palestinian Authority, which is heavily dependent on EU financing.

An official letter to European Union members from the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the PA stated that “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority condemns the invitation of Gershon Mesika, Chairman of the Shomron Settlement Board in occupied Palestinian territory, as a guest of honor to address the EU Parliament.

“To give a floor to this terrorist at the EU Parliament is an unprecedented deed and comes in stark contradiction to the traditional position of the European Union and its institutions towards the Palestinian people, especially those related to settlement construction.

“The European Union, along with all its institutions, has stressed on many occasions and through many official statements its support for international legitimacy and the rights of the Palestinian people; foremost among them, its right to establish its independent state based on the 1967 borders.”

Mesika, of the Shomron Liaison Office, is a widely-known advocate for a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria by hosting journalists and foreign organizations and arranging for speeches to groups and political bodies outside the “captive audience” of nationalist groups.

Clearly worried about his success, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs added in its letter that it “hopes that this unprecedented invitation will not represent a new approach in dealing with the Palestine Question.”

Mesika responded to the letter by stating, “If the Palestinian Authority is under pressure, it’s a sign that we’re on the right path. We’ll continue to build up the Land of Israel, and together with the construction we’ll go on with our public relations blitz both in Israel and outside of it.”

Yossi Dagan, Director of the Strategy Unity and Mesika’s advisor, added, “The amazing thing is that when we explain the simple truth, that we are settling Judea and Samaria because this is our land, given to the Jewish people by Biblical fiat, people simply understand and are convinced. Apparently, saying that the land is simply ours works better than all the other feeble excuses. Most people say that they have never heard this explanation before…”

David Ha’ivri, who heads the Shomron Liaison Office, said, “The hysterical reactions of the Palestinian Authority are only directing us to accomplish more. The PA is scared that the world will discover that settlement in Judea and Samaria is not the problem, but the solution. In coming months, we’ll continue to plow deeply into Europe and the rest of the world and strengthen international support for the State of Israel and for settlement in Judea and Samaria.”

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5. PA Arabs Attack, Israelis’ Weapons Confiscated

by Maayana Miskin

Security forces in the Samaria (Shomron) town of Yitzhar were recently involved in violent clashes with Palestinian Authority Arabs, a senior IDF commander said.

In at least one case, the security team managed to prevent an attack. Despite that, the team has been punished for its allegedly heavy-handed response by having its responsibilities scaled back and its weapons confiscated.

The commander described two of the incidents that led to the punishment. As background, he noted that there has been a rash of arson attacks in the area lately – most of them carried out by Palestinian Authority Arabs, but some carried out by Israelis. He warned that the proposed demolition of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El is expected to increase violence.

Two weeks ago, he said, some young residents of Yitzhar clashed with nearby PA Arabs following a PA attack in the area. “When the army reached the area one of the security force members fired toward a Palestinian and wounded him in his face, saying the Palestinian had threatened him,” he reported.

The incident is under police investigation, and it has not yet been determined whether or not the man acted appropriately.

More recently, the security team responded to a clash between local Jews and PA Arabs from a nearby town. The Israeli youth pointed out a PA Arab man hidden behind a rock, shouting, “He’s armed, he’s armed.” Security team members responded by opening fire, hitting the PA man in the stomach.

The PA man turned out to have been carrying a large knife. In the moments after he was wounded he took out his mobile phone and smashed it, leading to suspicion that he had been plotting an attack and was attempting to destroy evidence.

Youth from Yitzhar bound the wounded man and hit him. “It was a miracle that the IDF arrived,” the IDF commander related. “They removed the young men, who could have done the Palestinian serious harm.”

Police are investigating the second incident as well. In the meantime, the security team has been ordered to respond to incidents only within Yitzhar itself, and to stay away from clashes between Israelis and PA Arabs outside the town borders – even though the team is often able to respond more quickly than the IDF.

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6. IAF Strikes Terror Targets in Gaza

by Elad Benari

IAF aircraft struck three weapons manufacturing sites in central Gaza on Saturday night, as well as two terror tunnels, one in northern Gaza and one in the south.

According to a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, direct hits at the targets were identified. All Israeli planes returned safely to their base.

The attack came in response to the shootout between IDF troops and a Gaza terrorist on Friday morning. 21-year-old Golani Brigade soldier Netanel Moshiashvili was killed in the incident.

The incident occurred as the terrorist tried to infiltrate the western Negev from Gaza the predawn hours of Friday morning.

According to a preliminary investigation, the terrorist took advantage of fog around 4:00 a.m. to go through a hole he cut in the security fence near the Kissufim crossing. A Golani unit responded to the scene and identified the terrorist who opened fire at the soldiers, killing one. Artillery soldiers fired back, killing the terrorist.

“The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers and will continue to act against anyone who uses terror against Israel,” said the IDF statement, which added that the “the terrorist organization Hamas” is responsible for the deadly incident.

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7. Similar Issue, Different Court Rules for Beit El, Modi’in Illit

by Chana Ya’ar

It would appear that the High Court rules differently on how to deal with Arab land challenges depending upon the region that is affected.

The High Court has ruled that Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood must be torn down — and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this weekend went to great lengths to support the decision while searching for a way to mollify, if not maintain the residents in their homes.

But that very same Court allowed a similar neighborhood to remain in its place, undisturbed, in Modi’in Illit several years ago.

The legality of the neighborhood of East Matityahu was also challenged by a petition submitted by the extreme leftist Peace Now organization together with the mayor of the Arab village of Bil’in, claiming the neighborhood was built on land owned by the village.

An injunction was issued by the High Court in January 2006 that blocked residents from moving into their homes — but was was canceled more than a year and a half later, in September 2007.

A panel of justices comprised of Judges Eliezer Rivlin, Miriam Naor and Ayala Procaccia ruled the residents had to pay the petitioners their court costs instead – an amount totaling some NIS 160,000 – because “the initial petition filed on the matter was justified.”

But the justices rejected the petition to destroy the neighborhood.

In their ruling, the judges explained that after they had issued their initial injunction in 2006, the state had revoked the neighborhood plan, and revised it to amend the flaws. “Once the second plan was approved, the petitioners no longer had a just cause for complaint against the plan,” the judges ruled, adding that to demolish homes already built “would hurt innocent buyers, some of whom are already living in the apartments.”

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8. Clinton: U.S. Must See ‘Concrete Actions’ by Iran

by Elad Benari, Canada

The United States appeared to set a deadline on Friday for Iran to ease world concern over its disputed nuclear program.

The Associated Press reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Islamic Republic must act by this month’s talks with world powers in Moscow.

Speaking in Oslo, Norway, Clinton told reporters the U.S. would continue down the path of negotiations alongside Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Nations.

“Our negotiations with Iran have never been about intentions or sincerity, but about actions and results,” Clinton was quoted as having said after meeting top Norwegian officials.

She added the U.S. needed to see “concrete actions” at the talks in Russia’s capital, which are set to begin June 17.

“We will know by the next meeting in Moscow in a few weeks whether Iran is prepared to take those actions,” said Clinton, according to AP. “There are lots of concerns that we continue to have about their intentions, but we will judge them by their actions. And we will determine whether those actions are sufficient to meet their obligations.”

Earlier this week, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said “Iran’s window of opportunity is rapidly closing.”

“We will do everything we can to achieve a diplomatic solution but we do not intend to continue talks for talks,” Shapiro said during a Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv.

He added that the U.S. will be taking steps “to increase pressure” on Iran to ensure it does not obtain nuclear weapons.

His remarks came after a second round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – failed again to yield results as the West pressures Tehran to halt its controversial uranium enrichment program.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman hinted this week that the Islamic Republic may agree to negotiate its ongoing enrichment of uranium to higher levels, if the West recognizes it has the “right” to do so for peaceful purposes.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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