Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report Tuesday, Jun. 26 ’12, Tammuz 6, 5772

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Tuesday, Jun. 26 ’12, Tammuz 6, 5772










by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


Beit El Rabbi Zalman Melamed joined Ulpana neighborhood expulsion victims Tuesday for their last morning prayers before the expulsion of the families.


A feeling of mourning and anger hung over the neighborhood, where the residents said there would be no violence. After the 6:45 prayers concluded, the Defense Ministry deployed workers to load up their possessions and move them to temporary “caravan homes,” trailer housing without wheels.


No soldiers were present Tuesday morning, and parents moved their children elsewhere so they would not have to witness the removal of possessions and the first 15 families, which is to be completed by nightfall. The expulsion of 17 other families is expected to be completed by Thursday.


The expulsions were ordered by the High Court although some of the families have been living in five multi-apartment buildings for more than a decade. The court accepted a Peace Now petition and rejected arguments that the land on which the homes were built was bought from the original Arab owners, although no proof was presented that the supposed Arab owner had legal possession of the property.


The Defense Ministry has been working feverishly the past two weeks to prepare the temporary homes for the residents of the Ulpana neighborhood homes that were singled out in the Peace Now petition. Most of the neighborhood remains intact because there is no question concerning the legality of the rest of the homes.


Ironically, the temporary homes are located on a base adjacent to Beit El which is the home of Border Police, who have carried out hundreds of middle-of-the-night demolitions, often without presenting court approval, of dozens of outposts in Judea and Samaria.




by Gil Ronen


Police Commissioner Lt. Gen. Yohanan Danino said Tuesday that the violence in Tel Aviv at week’s end was not a spontaneous grassroots protest but “a pre-planned series of violent offenses,” according to IDF Radio.


The protesters planned to place their social agenda in the public spotlight “at any price,” he said, “but the price is too heavy for the state of Israel.”


“There is nothing more absurd than the accusation that the police will not allow a protest,” insisted Danino. “We will do everything so that the protests take place, but freedom of demonstration must not turn into chaos.”


The commissioner said that the right to protest does not include the right to cause bodily harm and damage the property of other people. Police will give its permission to hold protests as long as they are legitimate and carried out in accordance with the law.


Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the right to protest is a basic one in a democracy, but there is no room for violence and vandalism. “I opposed violence during the evacuation from Gaza too,” he explained, “and the same holds true for the social protest. There is no difference between violence from the left and violence from the right.”


Steinitz and Danino spoke at a Finance Ministry conference in Jerusalem.




by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


Terrorists from Hamas-controlled Gaza continued their “ceasefire war” Tuesday morning and fired a Kassam rocket on a kibbutz chicken barn, causing damage but no physical injuries.


The rocket exploded in the area of Sderot, located less than a mile from northern Gaza.


This week”s unannounced ceasefire, similar to dozens of others the past several years, resulted in a relative quiet after last week”s massive barrage of more than 150 Grad Missiles, Kassam rockets and mortar shells.


Israel has refrained from any massive retaliation this week and has restricted itself to filing another complaint to the United Nations over missile and rocket attacks on civilians.


As in the past, mainstream media have reported that the rocket and missiles usually caused no damage but did not note the minor miracles of the explosions often taking place only several feet from homes. The Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down at least five oncoming missiles on the port city of Ashkelon.


One rocket last week fell in the yard of a home at a kibbutz, causing damage to the home. Several people were wounded in a separate attack.


The peak of the latest attacks was last Wednesday, when Hamas and other terrorists launched 69 missiles and rockets on southern Israel. The previous day, 47 attacks were recorded.


Another 36 missiles and rockets were launched during the next three days.


The phenomenon of an escalation of missile attacks, quick but restrained IDF retaliation, followed by “relative calm” and un-honored “ceasefires” has become an established routine.




by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


A young couple married in a “flash wedding” near Tel Aviv last week after Hamas rocket fire prevented the marriage at Kibbutz Alumim, whose fields abut the Gaza security fence at northern Gaza.


Weddings at Alumim, a strictly agricultural kibbutz, frequently have been punctuated by the sound of rocket fire, but these seldom have interrupted nuptial ceremonies.


Last week”s rocket barrage changed the situation.


Invitations to more than 650 guests already had been sent for the wedding of Rinat Shickler, of the kibbutz, and her husband, who serves in the IDF.


Massive rocket and missile attacks forced them to find a last-minute alternative only several hours before the wedding.


The family contacted wedding hall owner Tzion Sasportas in Petach Tikvah, adjacent to Tel Aviv, and he happily told them the hall was not booked.


“We are all Israelis – one people, one heart, if we aren”t there for each other during times of war–when will we be?” he said. He added, “This is the fastest flash wedding we have ever had here.”


Friends of the newlyweds mobilized and called the caterers and guests to direct them to the new location, but before they were married, Rinat and her fiancé stopped to take some photos in front of the Iron Dome battery, which knocks out almost all of incoming missiles aimed at Be”er Sheva and Ashkelon.


The wedding off without a hitch – but without the sounds of Kassam rocket explosions.




by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


A former Israel ambassador to South Africa has turned his back on current government policy to back a boycott of goods made in Judea and Samaria.


Alon Liel was ambassador to South Africa from 1992 to 1994. He wrote this week in the South African Business Today, “I buy Israeli products every day and do my best not to buy Israeli products from the occupied territories.”


He added, “I cannot condemn the move to prevent goods made in the occupied Palestinian territory from being falsely classified as “Made in Israel.” I support the South African government”s insistence on this distinction between Israel and its occupation.”


He foresees a boycott as bringing Israel closer to an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, but previously stated liberal policies and predictions have been way off the mark.


In a 2009 interview with a blogger, he state, “In Netanyahu”s first term, he said “no peace with Arabs until they are all democracies.” But we have given up on that and understand that it”s not for us to decide who the Arab leaders should be. Basher Assad is…a very experienced president and as far as we can guess he is quite popular. He is much more outspoken, gives more interviews, he is more exposed. We don”t foresee any dangers about the control of his country.”


Liel argued for the boycott in Business Today by reasoning that “the simple act of marking settlement products differently to Israeli products pulls the rug from under the refusal to declare a border.”


He said that Israel is to blame for Arab resistance because its stated desire for peace “belittled the sense of outrage Arabs felt about what they considered a foreign intrusion.”


“Israelis have now come to the conclusion that they don”t need peace,” he wrote. “The Israeli government is not planning on withdrawing. Behind the wall, and with the army”s might, Israel is more or less kept safe without peace. The economy is growing and Tel Aviv is booming. The occupation is not a source of great moral discomfort to Israelis…


“I can understand small but symbolic acts of protest that hold a mirror up to Israeli society. As such, I cannot condemn the move to prevent goods made in the occupied Palestinian territory from being falsely classified as “Made in Israel.”


“I support the South African government”s insistence on this distinction between Israel and its occupation.””


Liel accepted the designation of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as “violation of international law and a tool in a project of de-facto annexation.”




by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


Visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin warned President Shimon Peres Monday that attacking Iran could backfire. He also advised the world to keep its nose out of affairs in Syria, where Russia has a vested interest.


“Look at what happened to the Americans in Afghanistan and in Iraq. I told Obama the same thing,” Putin stated concerning Iran. “There is no need to do things too quickly; one should not act without thinking first.”


Recalling the American objective to end the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and eliminate the terrorist infrastructure in the country, Putin noted, “Iraq has a pro-Iranian regime after everything that has happened there. These things should be thought out ahead of time before doing something one will regret later.”


Putin and his Israeli hosts made their disagreements on Iran obvious although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in a separate meetng that he and Putin were able to agree “that Iran”s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is a grave threat first and foremost to Israel, but also to the region and to the world.”


They clearly were at odds on how to stop that pursuit.


Russia has been a constant opponent to American-led efforts to pressure Iran to allow United Nations supervision of its nuclear development program, which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes and not for the objective of building a nuclear weapon.


President Peres told his guest, “The Iranian people are not our enemy. Israel does threaten their existence. It is Iran’s current regime that indentifies itself as an enemy of Israel and a threat to its existence.”


Prime Minister Netanyahu was blunter. He said, “I believe that we should be doing two things now: Boosting the sanctions and also boosting the demands.


“Israel believes that the international community should have three clear demands of Iran: Stop enriching uranium inside Iran; remove all the enriched uranium from Iran; and dismantle the underground nuclear facility near Qom.”


Similarly, Putin and Netanyahu were at odds on Syria, where Russia has supplied President Bashar Assad with massive military weapons, and perhaps chemical weapons, which have been used to bomb and kill 15,000 opponents of the regime during the 16-month-old uprising.


Besides expressing wishes for peace and warning against outside interference, Putin avoided Syria.


Prime Minister Netanyahu told Putin, “Regarding our neighbor to the north, a way to end the killing and the terrible suffering of the citizens of Syria must be found.”


He and Putin also released blatantly different statement on the declaration that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi won the presidential elections in Egypt.


Putin “congratulated” Morsi on his victory, according to Russian media, and the Russian president noted “he hopes for constructive cooperation with Egypt”s new leadership in the aim of developing Russian-Egyptian relations and ensuring peace and stability in the Middle East.”


Prime Minister Netanyahu simply noted that Israel “appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects its outcome.”


He called for “continued cooperation with the Egyptian administration on the basis of the peace accord between the two countries, which is in the interest of the two peoples and contributes to regional stability”.




by Hezki Ezra & Gil Ronen


Residents of the Ulpana Neighborhood in Beit El moved out of their homes without any resistance Tuesday, following an agreement between the Beit El leadership and the government.


The first 15 families are scheduled to move out Tuesday and another 15 on Thursday.


Photos: Hezki Ezra






by Gil Ronen


The Rabbi of Beit El, Rav Zalman Melamed, announced Tuesday morning that a new neighborhood would be dedicated later in the day.




The rabbi addressed a short sermon to believers at the site of the Ulpana Neighborhood, where five apartment homes are to be dismantled upon orders from the High Court.


The new neighborhood – to which some of the families now living in the Ulpana Neighborhood will move – will be larger than the current Ulpana Neighborhood.


“Two months ago,” he said, “if someone had said that part of the base would be handed over for enlarging the community, it would have seemed like a dream, a figment of the imagination.”


“And today, with G-d’s help, we will inaugurate a new neighborhood in Beit El, inside the base, a plot that is 2.5 or 3 times larger than this one. “


This does not lessen the sorrow and suffering caused by the High Court decision, the rabbi noted, but he added: “We pray that it not only will be cancelled but turned around and that here, with G-d’s help, will be a large neighborhood, we will return to these homes, and build additional ones, and the Land of Israel will be built up soon and in our times.”

Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report Monday, Jun. 25 ’12, Tammuz 5, 5772

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Monday, Jun. 25 ’12, Tammuz 5, 5772















by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu




One Gaza Arab was killed and three others were wounded Sunday as Hamas

wildly cheered Egypt”s Muslim Brotherhood victory, giving it new hope to

achieve its dream of annihilating Israel.


Hamas gleefully welcomed the election of Mohammed Morsi with the usual

gunfire, which this time was deadly, and senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahar

said that his victory was “a historic moment and a new era in the history of

Egypt. De facto Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said he is looking to

Egypt to help “the Palestinian nation get freedom.”


Morsi quickly backed up Hama”s optimism with a statement made before the

election results were announced and published Monday in an interview with

the Iranian government-controlled Fars  News Agency, in which he said he

would review the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.


The Muslim Brotherhood helped found Hamas in 1987 and grew not a powerful

political influence by maintaining social support for Gazans. The terrorist

organization, declared as such by the United States, peaked in popularity by

winning the first and only Palestinian Authority legislative elections six

years ago.


Its isolation by the rival Fatah faction, based in Ramallah and headed by

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has weakened it, but Haniyeh

sees the Muslim Brotherhood victory in Egypt as a good sign.


However, it might be disappointed. Morsi is taking office with most of his

powers having been stripped several days beforehand by the ruling military

regime. It also has dissolved the lower house of the parliament, dominated

by Islamic parties.


Hamas” strongest tool is the lack of control of Egypt in the Sinai

Peninsula, south of Gaza and a breeding ground for terrorists trying to

infiltrate into Israel.


If Morsi decides to beef up Egyptian security forces in the Sinai, he

probably will demand changes in the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, which

limits the presence of Egyptian military and arms in the region.


Either way, Hamas holds out the hopes that it can maintain an alliance with

whatever military forces are in the Sinai, making it easier to attack





by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


The United States and Israel are planning war games involving simulated

attacks against Iran and Syria. Coincidence or not, the exercises will take

place less than a month before elections November 6.


Thousands of soldiers will participate in the war games under simultaneous

and simulated missile fire from Syria and Iran, the Hebrew language Maariv

newspaper reported. It said that the exercise will be named “dress

rehearsal,” a thinly veiled message to Iran of the possibility of a military

attack on its unsupervised nuclear program if Tehran does not cooperate with

United Nations inspectors.


President Barack Obama is seen as wanting to postpone any military action

until after the elections, in which he will be running for re-election

against Republican Mitt Romney.


Iran has suffered numerous cyber attacks in the past year, presumably

originating from Israel and the United States, in an effort to cripple

computer programs operating nuclear facilities, particularly those where

Iran is enriching uranium, a key element for a nuclear weapon.


On the military front, Israel has beefed up its submarine force, which is

reportedly equipped with nuclear weapons.


Recent U.S. defense contracts to arm its navy with more Tomahawk cruise

missiles may possibly be intended to deplete reserves that were used for

bombing missions against Muammar Qaddafi but also may be designated for a

future attack, Business Insider noted.


“Taking out radar and aircraft defenses would be one step in an Iranian

attack. Another, equally as vital, would be determining where Tehran’s fleet

of submarines may be parked in the Persian Gulf,” it said.


The U.S. Navy also has ordered 17,000 sonar buoys that are used to work with

other buoys to locate underwater objects but also might be intended for

research for an unknown mission. 




by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


Egypt”s Muslim Brotherhood president-elect Mohammed Morsi told Iran he will

“reconsider the Camp David Accord” with Israel and that he wants closer ties

with Tehran to create a “balance” in the Middle East. He made the comments

in an interview with the government-controlled Fars News Agency before he

was announced as ther winner of the presidential elections.


Afetr he was declared the victor Sunday afternon, Morsi vowed he will

“preserve international agreements,” without mentioning Israel by name.


Morsi told Fars a mouthpiece for the regime, that closer relations with Iran

“will create a balance of pressure in the region, and this is part of my



Iran”s government-controlled media promoted the Muslim Brotherhood candidate

during the election campaign, and the Iranian foreign ministry quickly

congratulated the “Egyptian people and government on election of Mohammed

Morsi as the country’s new president,” Fars reported Monday morning.


Tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo and across the country to

celebrate the victory of Morsi, chanting slogans in praise of Allah.


The Muslim Brotherhood”s signal for closer ties with Iran comes as no

surprise, but Morsi”s statement underlines the threat of Israel’s being

under the potential stranglehold of an Iranian-Hizbullah-Hamas-Egyptian





by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to attend the unveiling of a

Red Army World War II Victory Monument in Netanya Monday.


The “Victory Monument”, an unprecedented joint-state venture between Israel

and Russia, also honors the more than half a million Jews who fought with

the Red Army during WWII.


The design of the monument was the first-ever joint initiative between

Israel and Russia to commemorate the Red Army.  Keren HaYesod – UIA and the

World Forum of Russian Jewry led efforts to raise funds for the project.


A world-class design commemorating the Red Army”s victory over Nazi Germany

in WWII, the monument honors millions of Red Army soldiers who perished in

the war, among them 120,000 Jews.  More than half a million Jewish soldiers

fought with the Red Army in WWII against the Nazis.


Alexander Levin, president of the World Forum of Russian Jewry and an

American citizen, will represent Russian-speaking Jews from North America at

the ceremony.


“Millions of Russian Jews around the world are united at this moment in

solidarity for the brave Red Army soldiers,” said Levin, one of the main

supporters of the monument. “I am proud to be part of those who support the

building of this special monument, particularly as the sole representative

of the United States and the millions of Russian-speaking Jews who reside



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed the idea of the monument to

President Putin two years ago during his visit to Moscow. Putin complied and

promised to come to Israel for the inauguration ceremony.




by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


Hours after President Shimon Peres warned Hamas it is shooting itself in the

foot by attacking Israel, the IDF ordered a halt in freight through the

Kerem Shalom crossing.


Southern District Commander Tal Russo ordered the halt following massive

missile and mortar shell fire on Israeli communities in the south, with more

than 150 missiles smacking into rural and urban areas in the past week.


He said re-opening the crossing, where fuel and other goods and merchandise

are shipped from Israel, will be conditioned on better security and a

cessation of rocket fire.


Gaza-based terrorists fired three Kassam rockets on the Western Negev Sunday

afternoon, and no further violence was reported as of Monday morning,

indicating that Hamas has completed the latest round of attacks.


President Peres told a Jewish Agency conference in Jerusalem on Sunday,

“[Hamas] must understand that when they attack Israel, they are attacking

residents of Gaza. Every missile that hits Israel will hurt you more than



Southern Israel has been under constant rocket fire since Israel expelled

all Jews from the Gaza region in 2005 and ordered the total withdrawal of

all soldiers, based on the theory that Hamas would cease deadly terrorist

attacks. Instead, it widened its target area and attacked as far east as

Be”er Sheva and as far north as Yavne, on the southern edge of metropolitan

Tel Aviv.


Ashkelon city councilman Shimon Cohen wrote Prime Minister Binyamin

Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak Sunday night, “In the name of the

residents of Ashkelon and the south, I urge you to bomb the terrorist

tunnels that are filled with weapons, to immediately stop the shipments of

cement to Gaza, and to cut off electricity and water in the neighborhoods

where missiles are launched.


“This situation is totally impossible, whereby a sovereign country allows a

dangerous situation to exist that threatens the lives of its citizens

without a reasonable reaction over a period of several years.”


Hamas has pummeled southern Israelwith more than 13,000 rockets and mortar

shells since the outbreak of the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo

War, which began in 2000. Israel and Hamas have been engaged in continuing

battles, interspersed by periods of relative calm.




by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


Russian president Vladimir Putin lands at Ben Gurion Airport Monday for a

visit to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan in an effort to

improve his image, blackened by support for Syria and Iran.


Russia has been engaged in a modern version of the diplomatic Cold War

standoff between Washington and Moscow 60 years ago and has been an obstacle

to moves by Western allies that would allow them to be the major influence

on Iran”s nuclear development and Syrian President Bashar Assad”s violent

struggle to keep himself and his regime alive at the expense of the lives of

thousands of civilians who have been bombed to death and gunned down in the



Russia has a huge vested interest in Iran and Syria through technological

investments and military sales, similar to its stake in Libya, where the

overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi cost it billions of dollars in military deals.


The Arab world increasingly fears Iran”s nuclear ambitions and its stated

desire to rule an Islamic Middle East empire, and also has openly opposed

Assad”s continuing refusal to surrender. 


Moscow”s support of Assad has unmasked it as an opponent to democracy, and

Putin”s visit – along with more than 300 aides and advisors – is aimed at

raising his political profile.


Putin in 2005 was the first Russian president to visit Israel, and this time

around he will make a high-profile trip to Bethlehem and to Jordan.


“The message (the Russians) will receive is that Israel can’t tolerate a

nuclear Iran,” said Yaakov Livne, head of the Russia desk at the Israeli

foreign ministry, according to the Yisrael HaYom newspaper.


“Of course we prefer a diplomatic solution, but we will use any means to

protect Israel’s survival… We expect Russia, as a member of the Security

Council, to demonstrate responsibility and help to prevent the Iranian

nuclear race. I think that will be the most important issue on the agenda

during the visit.”


Putin”s presence in Israel could serve as a warning to Iran that Moscow

could cross the line and become closer to Israel if Iran does not cooperate

with the United Nations and open up its nuclear sites for full inspection.




by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


Egypt”s new Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi vowed to “respect

all international agreements,” presumably meaning the pact with Israel, as

he takes power in a regime conceived in the violence of last year’s Arab

Spring rebellion and bred in the aftermath of political chaos.


With the United States hoping for the best and Israel expecting the worst,

Morsi did not mention the name of the Jewish state in his victory speech

Sunday night, in which he promised to preserve international accords. He

said he carries “a message of peace” to the world.


The stated doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood to establishing a Middle East

Muslim empire, along with Morsi”s statements the past year calling for

changes in the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, are not easily forgotten by

Jerusalem officials.


Few international leaders expect Morsi to try to cancel the treaty but he is

almost certain to try to institute changes, such as moving more military

power into the Sinai Peninsula, where Bedouin tribal leaders have teamed up

with Hamas and other terrorists to carve out fiefdoms.


However, one factor working in Israel”s favor is the need for Morsi to deal

with Egypt”s economic problems, which have been aggravated since the

beginning of last year”s Arab Spring rebellion in Tahrir Square. The

protests led to the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who now is

in a coma after having been sentenced to life in prison for involvement in

killing more than 800 opposition demonstrators.


Another urgent problem that will overshadow the peace treaty with Israel is

the temporary military regime”s last-minute power grab, taking away most of

the president”s powers.


The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power after Mubarak”s

ouster 15 months ago, said it will be the sole power to appoint government

leaders, including ministers.


The military council also recently dissolved the lower house of parliament,

where the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Islamic parties won a majority

last year.






by Rachel Hirshfeld




An Egyptian plumber in Alexandria beat his pregnant wife to death upon

learning that she had not voted for Muslim Brotherhood presidential

candidate Mohammed Mursi, the Egyptian daily al-Wafd reported on Sunday.


According to police reports, the initial argument between the unnamed couple

escalated into a violent death, despite the pleas of the battered and

bruised wife. She was reported to have died at the hospital from injuries



Domestic fights have dominated Egyptian news headlines when the bid fell on

the two most feared and most controversial candidates, Mursi and former

prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, Al-Arabiya news reported.


Mohammed Morsi was declared the winner in Egypt’s first free presidential

election in history by the country’s elections commission on Sunday.


In his first televised speech on state TV, Morsi pledged Sunday to preserve

Egypt’s international accords, alluding reference to the peace deal with



Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued an official reaction to Mursi”s

victory saying, “Israel appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and

respects its results,” said Netanyahu.






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Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report Tuesday, Jun. 05 ’12, Sivan 15, 5772

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Delivered Daily via Email, Sunday thru Friday Subscribe to this Daily Israel Report: 


Tuesday, Jun. 05 ’12, Sivan 15, 5772 

















Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat told the occupants of the Ulpana Protest Tent across from the Prime Minister’s Office late Monday night they will be able to stay for at least two more days — at least until the Knesset votes on their issue.


Earlier in the evening, police had warned the protesters, who included some 30 hungers strikers — that they would have to leave and close down the tent by midnight or be forcibly removed by police. Hundreds of additional activists were immediately recruited and began streaming to the site.


Jerusalem officials called for calm, Knesset members converged on the town of Beit El to discuss the matter, and by late in the evening, Barkat assured Danny Dayan, head of the Council of Judea and Samaria Communities (Yesha Council), that the protesters could remain.


The city extended the tent’s license until at least Wednesday, when the Knesset plenum is to vote on the proposed Regulation Law that will determine the status of Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood.


Activists are demanding the government approve the measure, which would allow residents of the neighborhood to remain in their homes by mandating that any land ownership challenge must take place within four years of the start of construction on the land.


The five apartment buildings in the neighborhood are slated for destruction by July 1, leaving about two dozen families homeless – some of whom having been living in the neighborhood for 10 years. All were authorized by the government to move into their homes, which they argue were purchased in good faith.


A High Court order was handed down following a petition by the far-left Peace Now movement together with an Arab who claimed ownership of the land after his cousin of the same name had already sold it to the town of Beit El, many years ago.






by Elad Benari


MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said on Monday that the possibility that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will choose to leave the Likud and form a joint list with Shaul Mofaz, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and other ministers such as Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan, “is more than likely”.


Speaking with Arutz Sheva, Hotovely said she believes that such a decision by Netanyahu, similar to what former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did when he split the Likud and formed Kadima, will ultimately lead him to where Kadima is today. While Kadima is the largest party in the Knesset at the present time, polls have indicated that it is headed for a downfall in the next elections.


Likud members have recently expressed concerns that Netanyahu is planning such a move, particularly in light of his opposing the proposed outpost regulation law, which many of the Likud”s Knesset members and ministers support.


“Anyone who wants to choose such a path will be judged by history,” said Hotovely. “Our job is to present leadership which tells the truth and is true to the Likud”s way. The possibility [that Netanyahu will split the Likud] is quite possible, but it has a price. The question is whether Netanyahu is thinking only about the next Knesset or whether he wants long-term leadership.”


Hotovely said that Netanyahu is directly responsible for the planned demolition in the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El, not Barak or any other officials in the justice system.


“I have enough appreciation for the Prime Minister to hold him responsible for the decision,” she said, adding, “This decision is destructive to the settlement enterprise. It’s not a matter of five houses, but the opening of something very dangerous.”


Hotovely said the regulation law, which is scheduled to be brought to a vote in the Knesset on Wednesday, is the most moral law possible, because it compensates a landowner who can prove his ownership. At the same time, she said, the decision to expel the thirty families who live in the Ulpana neighborhood is the least moral decision that can be made.


She noted that social pressure affects the Likud ministers more than anything else and, as such, if the ministers from the Yisrael Beytenu and Shas parties announce that they intend to support the regulation law, it would encourage Likud ministers to the same.


“A minister should know whether he supports the law or not, regardless of pressure by Feiglin or someone else,” said Hotovely. “This is a moral issue.”


Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu pleaded with Likud faction members to back his plan and vote against the regulation law proposed by MK Yaakov Katz (National Union).


Netanyahu has proposed that the five buildings facing demolition be destroyed, but that fifty new structures be approved on adjacent state owned land.


Under the plan, the government would also pay to move the five buildings slated to be destroyed – which would cost the state an estimated NIS 14m.


Netanyahu’s statements seem to indicate he intends to renege on a promise made to Katz, that he would not oppose the regulation law when it was brought to a vote, if Katz would hold off in submitting the bill for a fortnight.


Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Monday approved Netanyahu’s outline for the Ulpana neighborhood.





The “Regulation Bill” to legalize the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El is “Judgment Day” for the Likud, warn Women in Green nationalists.


The bill is scheduled to come to a vote Wednesday afternoon, and it is not yet clear if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will allow his party’s Knesset members to vote as they wish or if he will impose discipline and demand they do not vote in favor of the proposed law.


He has argued that the law, which would circumvent a standing order from the High Court to destroy the five buildings involved, would ignite anger at Israel from the international community and cause long-term damage to the nationalist enterprise for a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.


“If the law does not pass — Givat HaUlpana, Givat Assaf, Amona and many other communities in Judea and Samaria will topple like dominoes. Thousands of Jews will be expelled, Women in Green said in a statement. 


It declared that failure to pass the bill would be equivalent to “Disengagement Plan, Part 2” referring to the mass expulsions of more than 9,000 Jews from Gush Katif, northern Gaza and four northern Samaria communities in 2005.


“Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud ministers who will vote against the law or absent themselves from the vote must be punished, politically, once and for all,” said Women in Green director Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover.


“A statement must be made immediately, that if the Regulation Law is not passed on Wednesday, every true lover of the Land of Israel will leave the Likud party permanently. If the law fails to pass, this will prove once and for all that registering as a member of Likud was a terrible mistake that shattered the national political camp. The whole idea of “influencing from within” will be proven as wrong. The national camp gave Bibi Netanyahu eight Knesset seats, yet he has no problem tearing down the communities in Judea and Samaria”.


They said a new party of united nationalists could win 18 seats in the next Knesset.


The affected Ulpana homes, where 30 families have been living for up to 12 years, was not an issue until Peace Now filed a court motion in recent years that said the houses were built on land owned by a Palestinian Authority Arab, who the petition said did not sell the land as claimed by the builder and residents. The petition does not apply to other Ulpana neighborhood homes.


The court accepted the complaint even though there has been no conclusive proof that the Arab owns the land. Possession of most of the land in Judea and Samaria was not registered in the days of Jordanian rule, and the Palestinian Authority has accepted Jordanian law that calls for the death penalty of any Arab who sells property to Jews.


As a result, many land transactions to Jews have been conducted through third parties, leaving open the possibility for lawsuits claiming that the sale was a forgery.


Matar and Katsover said they do not blame the court for the current crisis but instead point their fingers at Prime Minister Netanyahu. “If not for his weakness, he could have easily saved the communities,” they said.


The Prime Minister has proved himself to be a master politician in terms of holding together and even expanding his coalition, but he may have misjudged the intensity of the opposition to the proposed expulsion of the families from the Ulpana neighborhood.


It is located in Beit El, one of the largest Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, home to leaders of the nationalist movement and one of the most widely known names both to Israelis and to Jews in the Diaspora.


If Prime Minister Netanyahu thought the Ulpana neighborhood could be dismantled and the residents expelled without major opposition, he has been proven mistaken. Yisrael Beytenu MKs have said they will vote for the bill, although they may abstain or vote against it if Netanyahu issues an ultimatum. Shas has said its MKs will vote against the bill if there is an ultimatum. Both parties are coalition members.


A hunger strike is continuing Tuesday, another march to the Knesset is scheduled and special prayers are to be held in synagogues  throughout the country. Rabbis have instructed that Chapters 20 and 140 from the Book of Psalms be recited after daily prayers. People also are encouraged to increase charity donations for the merit of the residents of the Ulpana neighborhood.





A senior IDF official said on Monday that there has been an increase in attempts by terrorists who were released in the Shalit deal and sent to Gaza to promote terrorism in Judea and Samaria.


Speaking to Army Radio, the official said that the terrorists released in the deal and who are living in Judea and Samaria are under constant Israeli supervision, and that most of them did not return to terrorist activity.


“It is only the actions of our forces that ensure the security of Israeli citizens,” the official said, adding that the body which tries to encourage terrorism the most is Hamas.


“Along with the Palestinian Authority”s attempt at reconciliation with Hamas, we are detecting a loosening in the PA”s security forces actions against Hamas activists,” he said.


Several of the more than 1,000 terrorists Israel released last October in exchange for Gilad Shalit have been re-arrested after returning to terrorism.


One of the released terrorists, Omar Abu-Sneina, sent a memory card to relatives with detailed instructions on how to kidnap more soldiers. The memory card stated that a live kidnap victim should not be hidden in an isolated area.


Another Hamas terrorist, who participated in the bombing of Café Hillel in Jerusalem and was released in the Shalit deal, took part in an “apartheid week” propaganda tour in South Africa.


The terrorist, Abd al-Aziz Muhammad Moussa Amr, called during the tour for mass marches in Israel’s borders in order to “liberate Jerusalem and Palestine.”


He also called for international pressure to aid in the release of his fellow terrorists from Israeli jails the release of terrorists in Israeli jails, whom he characterized as “political prisoners”.


The Deputy head of the Binyamin Regional Council, Moti Yogev, recently said that terrorists have been encouraged to try to carry out attacks against Israelis because of the deal to free Gilad Shalit.





The “Flame” virus whose existence was revealed last week is 20 times bigger than Stuxnet and was aimed at stealing Iranian-Russian blueprints, presumably of nuclear facilities.


“Stuxnet was really unique because of its size, and this [Flame] is about 20 times bigger than Stuxnet,” Symantec official Kevin Haley, quoted by CNN, said at a cyber conference in Washington.


The attack, widely believed to have originated with Israeli-American cooperation, exploited a hole in Microsoft software that allowed the malware to be hidden in a program that appeared to have been manufactured by the computer giant.


Kaspersky Lab, a Russian firm that produces anti-virus software, said that the massive cyber attack was designed to steal designs and files. “I woke up to this news and I couldn’t believe it. I had to ask, ‘Am I reading this right?'” Kaspersky official Roel Schouwenberg told the Times of India.


Iran was the main victim of the attack, with 185 infections. There were 95 attacks in Israel, possibly aimed at the Palestinian Authority in Gaza as well as Judea and Samaria, 32 in Sudan and 29 in Syria.


Security experts said they were both surprised and impressed by the approach that the attackers had used, which was to disguise Flame as a legitimate program built by Microsoft.


Computer analysts have almost unanimously agreed that an unidentified nation launched the Flame virus.


“Researchers said that technical evidence suggests it was built on behalf of the same nation or nations that commissioned the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s nuclear program in 2010,” the Indian newspaper reported.





Iran may be building a third gas centrifuge enrichment plant, according to a report on Monday by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).


The report, posted on ISIS” website, notes that the question of whether Iran is building a third plant “has been on the minds of Iran watchers in governments around the world since former Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi claimed on August 16, 2010, that “studies for the location of 10 other uranium enrichment facilities” had ended, and that “the construction of one of these facilities will begin by the end of the (current Iranian) year (March 2011) or start of the next year.”


The report notes that Salehi”s successor, Fereydoun Abbassi-Davani, said in mid-2011 that construction on additional enrichment plants was delayed by two years.


Since March 2007, Iran has taken the position that it does not have to notify the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if it begins construction of a nuclear facility, says ISIS, but the IAEA has said that Iran has a legal obligation to do so under its current safeguards agreement.


The IAEA states, according to the ISIS report, that Iran has a legal obligation to comply with modified Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements General Part to Iran”s Safeguards Agreement. Modified Code 3.1 provides for the submission to the IAEA of design information for new facilities as soon as the decision to construct, or to authorize construction of, a new facility has been taken, whichever is the earlier.


The IAEA also noted in its May 2012 Iran safeguards report that “Iran remains the only State with significant nuclear activities in which the Agency is implementing a comprehensive safeguards agreement but which is not implementing the provisions of the modified Code 3.1.”  In 2003, Iran accepted modified Code 3.1 but reneged unilaterally in March 2007, notes ISIS.


“Since then, the IAEA has called on Iran to comply with its legal obligations, which state that Iran cannot unilaterally abandon its safeguards obligations under modified Code 3.1,” the report says, adding that “In response to Salehi”s August 2010 announcement, the IAEA asked Iran in a letter dated August 19, 2010 to provide preliminary design information for this third centrifuge facility. In a letter a few days later, Iran did not provide the requested information and stated only that it would provide the Agency with the required information “in due time.””


The concern, according to the ISIS report, is that “Iran has taken the position that it can delay telling the IAEA about the construction of a nuclear facility until six months before the introduction of nuclear material, based on its original, unmodified safeguards agreement.  Thus, under Iran”s interpretation of its safeguards obligations, Iran can essentially finish construction of a gas centrifuge plant before notifying the IAEA of its existence.”


The report adds, “Iran”s decision to defy the IAEA only increases concern that its intentions are to build nuclear weapons. Iran may not in fact declare a plant”s existence six months before introducing nuclear material but instead hold it in reserve for use in a future breakout.”


Recent satellite images showed that Iran has razed two buildings near a suspected nuclear-trigger test site inside of its sprawling Parchin military complex.


The satellite images, taken on May 25 and published several days later by ISIS, confirm the destruction of two buildings IAEA inspectors have sought access to.


Two IAEA reports published since late 2011 charge that Iran has engaged in nuclear research of a military nature, and is enriching far more uranium to 20% than its claims of nuclear medicine research can justify.


Iran has systemically obstructed IAEA inspectors seeking access to its nuclear sites in contravention of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.




by Gil Ronen


Arabs in Kerak, Jordan, attacked Jewish tourists because they wore “provocative hats” and other items of clothing worn by religious Jews, according to Arab websites.


The incident took place Sunday afternoon, when a group of Jews visited the Jordanian tourist site, where a Crusader castle is located along with other attractions.


According to Al Jazeera, as translated by bloggers, “Salem Jeradat – who owns a grocery in the town – was surprised Sunday afternoon by a delegation of Jewish men and women who were wearing the clothing of religious Jews, which led him to throw his shoes at them.”


“‘Then the people of the town immediately approached the group, threw shoes and stones, and kicked them out of town,’ Jeradat said. ‘The people of Jordan do not accept the Jews entering their homeland, and the Araba Valley treaty between Jordan and the Zionist entity does not represent us.'”


Al Jazeera explained, “The idea is that those who occupy Palestine and desecrate holy places should not be allowed to roam freely in Jordan. Citizens of the town gathered in the evening in a grocery and committed themselves to prevent Jews from returning to their town.”


Elder of Zion blog noted that another Jordanian website added that the Jewish tourists were wearing “provocative hats.”





Archaeologists have discovered a treasure trove comprising about 140 gold and silver coins along with gold jewelry, probably hidden by a wealthy lady at a time of impending danger during the Bar Kokhba Revolt some 1880 years ago.


The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) presented the sumptuous find Tuesday and said it was recently exposed in a salvage excavation in the vicinity of Kiryat Gat, in southern Israel.


The rooms of a building dating to the Roman and Byzantine period were exposed during the course of the excavation. Archeologists discerned that a pit had been dug in the earth of the ancient building”s courtyard and then refilled. To the archaeologists’ delightful surprise, a spectacular treasure trove of exquisite quality was discovered in the pit. It had been wrapped in a cloth fabric that had mostly deteriorated.


According to archaeologist Emil Aladjem, who directed the excavation on behalf of the IAA, “The magnificent hoard includes gold jewelry, among them an earring crafted by a jeweler in the shape of a flower and a ring with a precious stone on which there is a seal of a winged-goddess, two sticks of silver that were probably kohl sticks, as well as some 140 gold and silver coins.”


“The coins that were discovered date to the reigns of the Roman emperors Nero, Nerva and Trajan, who ruled the Roman Empire from 54-117 CE.  The coins are adorned with the images of the emperors and on their reverse are cultic portrayals of the emperor, symbols of the brotherhood of warriors and mythological gods such as Jupiter seated on a throne or Jupiter grasping a lightning bolt in his hand.”


Sa’ar Ganor, District Archaeologist of Ashkelon and the Western Negev for the IAA, added that “the composition of the numismatic artifacts and their quality are consistent with treasure troves that were previously attributed to the time of the Bar Kokhba Revolt. During the uprising, between 132-135 CE, the Jews under Roman rule would re-strike coins of the emperor Trajan with symbols of the revolt.”


“This hoard includes silver and gold coins of different denominations, most of which date to the reign of the emperor Trajan. This is probably an emergency cache that was concealed at the time of impending danger by a wealthy woman who wrapped her jewelry and money in a cloth and hid them deep in the ground prior to or during the Bar Kokhba Revolt. It is now clear that the owner of the hoard never returned to claim it.”


The treasure trove was removed from the field and transferred for treatment to the laboratories of the Artifacts Treatment Department of the IAA in Jerusalem.


The excavation was funded by Y. S. Gat Ltd., the Economic Development Corporation for the Management of the Kiryat Gat Industrial Park.


Photos by Clara Amit and Sharon Gal, courtesy IAA.

Israel’s insane gestures,7340,L-4238072,00.html

Op-ed: Why do we return terrorist bodies, seek peace talks with anti-Semitic Arabs who hate us?

Elyakim Haetzni

Published: 06.04.12, 12:48 / Israel Opinion

Had Adolf Eichmann been executed during Benjamin Netanyahu’s term, the Nazi war criminal would not have been burned and his ashes would not have been disposed of at sea. Instead, the body would have been preserved and handed over to the German president upon his visit to Israel, so it can be buried in Germany with full military honors.

Does this sound delusional? No more so than the ceremony where “President” Mahmoud Abbas and his top brass received the coffins of 91 terroristswho murdered more than 200 people; indeed, the bodies of these “martyrs” were saluted with wreathes and the firing of volley shots.

Palestinians welcome terrorists’ bodies / Elior Levy
Special ceremony held at Ramallah’s Mukataa after Israel transfers 79 terrorists’ bodies to PA in gesture to Abbas; 12 more bodies transferred to Gaza
Full Story

Yet there is one difference: Had the German president and establishment still viewed Eichmann as a national hero, he would not have been received here, and there would be no diplomatic ties with Germany.

So why haven’t we disposed of the ashes of the terrorists at sea? Why are we providing “holy places” for the ethos of Jew-hatred and murder, which has turned into the essence of their national existence? Who do we seek to make peace with, and what kind of peace can we expect of someone whose heroes are the murderers from Jerusalem Machne Yehuda Market (16 fatalities,) the buses in Beersheba (17 fatalities,) or Jerusalem’s Route 2 (23 fatalities)?

Does one make peace with enemies? Most certainly: With yesterday’s enemy, who was defeated or reconciled itself to one’s existence. Germany, for example. How, on the other hand, does one make peace with an enemy whose hatred keeps growing, here and now? With a “national band” that sings in their official media that “we have replaced our jewelry with weapons, this is the day of Jihad, squeeze the trigger”?

How does one make peace with those who name schools and kindergartens after Dalal Mughrabi, the commander of the Coastal Road terror attack where 37 people were murdered, 12 of them children? With a ruling party declaring that “the armed struggle is a strategy, not a tactic, for eliminating the Zionist presence”? With those who write textbooks that erase any sign of Israel’s existence?

What was Bibi thinking?

How does one make peace with those who sentence countrymen who sell land to Jews to death, and who view the designation of the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb as Jewish heritage sites as a “grave provocation,” threatening to launch a religious war?

Had current-day Germany been as Nazi as “Palestine” is an anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist terror sponsor that denies Jewish existence, would we grant Berlin such “gestures?” When barely 10 people gather at Baruch Goldstein’s gravesite, Israeli media outlets are horrified. Yet what would they say had President Peres, as a gesture, placed a wreath on Goldstein’s grave in the presence of an IDF guard of honor?

And what was Prime Minister Netanyahu thinking when he decided on the “gesture” of handing over 11 terrorist bodies to Hamas in Gaza? And as to the rulers in Ramallah, if the intention was to revive the peace talks, then woe is on such peace, which is replete with wreathes and monuments for our murderers.

The “peace camp” has kept peace slogans to a minimum as of late, as not to humiliate itself. They prefer to play the bi-national state card and the risk of “losing our Jewish character.” The one who still beats the drums of peace is Netanyahu, who in a recent speech at the Institute for National Security Studies went back to the flower children of the ‘60s and to their song “Give peace a chance.”

He forgot that in the meantime, we buried some 1,500 peace victims, and that the Palestinian enemies are only willing to receive “peace gestures” from us of the type that sanctifies their war against us, such as the handing over of their terrorists for the purpose of a martyr’s burial. So to those who make decisions on our behalf I say: In what world are you living?

Sivan 13, 5772 / Sunday, Jun. 03 ’12

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  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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Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report || Wednesday, May. 23 ’12, Sivan 2, 5772

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Wednesday, May. 23 ’12, Sivan 2, 5772











by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


National Union party chairman and Knesset Member Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh) told the Knesset Wednesday he is withdrawing his bill on the Ulpana neighborhood, threatened with a court-ordered demolition.


The bill would require compensation for those adversely affected by a legal determination that their homes, approved by previous governments, were built on private Arab land.


He withdrew the bill moments before a scheduled first vote on the proposed law, which would have circumvented the court order that was issued after the justices accepted a left-wing petition claiming five homes were built on private Arab land.


The neighborhood is located in Beit El, one of the leading national religious communities in Samaria (Shomron).


Ketzaleh made his announcement during a stormy debate after he was promised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the government would not oppose the bill if he introduces it two weeks from now, the period in which the Prime Minister hopes to find a solution to the problem posed by the court order.


The National Union chairman charged that left-wing Knesset Members are acting against fellow Jews. “Netanyahu has conceded to Barak over building in Judea and Samaria,” he said. “A Jew no longer cares about his brother – he has a heart of stone.”


Likud Minister Benny Begin responded to MK Katz, “Prime Minister Netanyahu is trying to find the correct solution within the boundaries of legal restrictions.”


Barak has argued that passing a law that would cancel a standing court order is not suitable for a democratic country and would serve as ammunition for the anti-Israel movement.




by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered the coalition to block National Union Knesset Member Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz”s bill to compensate potential expulsion victims at Beit El”s Ulpana neighborhood and also told Defense Minister Ehud Barak to postpone demolition plans. The Prime Minister wants two weeks to solve the dilemma.


A court order for expulsions and demolitions of the five Ulpana apartment buildings is hanging over the heads of approximately two dozen families, some of whom have been living in the neighborhood for 10 years. There was no question of their legal presence until the High Court agreed with a left-wing organization petition that the land is owned by a Palestinian Authority Arab.


The government authorized the residents to move into their homes, which they argue were legally bought. But the High Court rejected their claim.


Prime Minister Netanyahu told coalition leader Ze”ev Elkin to work against advancing the bill proposed by MK Katz – whose party does not sit in the coalition – so that the government can find an alternative solution in two weeks.


Barak has said he opposes the proposed law because it would scuttle a standing court order and would give ammunition to the international anti-Israel movement. “In an advanced democratic country, there is no possibility of passing legislation that cancels a standing court order. Beit El is a large and important community that in the future will remain a part of the State of Israel in any future arrangement [with the Palestinian Authority). We must find a solution to carry out the court order while strengthening Beit El,” he said.


The implication is that Barak would agree to additional housing units in Beit El in exchange for carrying out the demolitions and expulsions. He has blocked thousands of homes from being built for Jews in Judea and Samaria by using the legal definition of the Jewish communities in the region as being under military law.





Archaeologists have discovered the first evidence outside of the Bible that Bethlehem was part of the First Temple era Kingdom of Judah.


The dramatic archaeological find was announced Wednesday, five days before Jews around the world celebrate the holiday of Shavuot and hear the recital of the Book of Ruth, which mentions Bethlehem.


A half-inch clay seal was discovered at the ongoing excavations at Ir David (City of David) located across the road from the Western Wall.


The stamp, with ancient Hebrew script, is one of a group of seals used to stamp official documents that were to be opened only by authorized officials.


Three lines in the stamp state:


????? (Bishv”at)

?? ??? (Bat Lechem)

[???[? ([Lemel]ekh)


The writing means that the stamp was sent from Bethlehem to the king in Jerusalem in the seventh year of his reign.


Eli Shukrun, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said that it is unclear if the reference to the king is to Hezekiah, Manasseh or Josiah.


The stamps, or seals, were used to seal tax shipments in the Kingdom of Judah in the late eighth century and the seventh century BCE.


“The tax could have been paid in the form of silver or agricultural produce such as wine or wheat,” according to Shukrun.


He added,” This is the first time the name Bethlehem appears outside the Bible, in an inscription from the First Temple period, which proves that Bethlehem was indeed a city in the Kingdom of Judah, and possibly also in earlier periods”.


Bethlehem is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis (Bereishit) when it named concernng the death and burial of the Matriarch Rachel.


Bethlehem also is mentioned in the Book of Ruth as the place where “the children of Judah dwelled,” including the family of Boaz, who is a central figure in the Book of Ruth, almost all of which takes place in Bethlehem.


Bethlehem is cited in the Book of Samuel as the city where David was anointed as king.





Palestinian Authority forces threatened to break press cameras, and barred coverage of British supermodel Naomi Campbell”s visit to Bethlehem Tuesday.


She celebrated her 42nd birthday with a trip to the Church of Nativity in the city, located between Jerusalem on the north and Gush Etzion and to the south, amid a call for “good vibrations, not destruction” in the region.


Either at her own request or through the initiative of the Palestinian Authority, journalists were warned by private and Palestinian Authority guards to keep their distance, drawing a stern protest from the Freedom Committee of the PA Journalist. The complaint is one of a growing number of appeals from international journalists on Palestinian Authority restrictions.


The Freedom Committee expressed “anger and resentment” at Palestinian Authority security forces who threatened to confiscate and break cameras. 


Campbell”s visit apparently was made in relatively secrecy, and she was escorted by her private security bodyguards as well as Palestinian Authority guards during her tour of Bethelhem, which is under full control of the PA.


She did not refer to the threats on journalists and instead told the Associated Press she hopes that “weapons and war [and] greed and oil will end. The news agency also reported that as she ate in a Bethlehem restaurant, Palestinian Authority officials threatened to punish employees who talked with journalists.


Campbell also visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem.





A statement issued by the European Union on Tuesday seemed to suggest it supports Palestinian Authority Arabs” rights to throw stones during non-violent protests.


The statement, released on Tuesday by the spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, criticized Israel for convicting PA Arab Bassem Tamimi of dispatching stone-throwers and protesting illegally.


An Israeli court convicted Tamimi on Sunday, according to an AFP report. The 45-year-old was charged with soliciting stone-throwing based on evidence that he directed such incidents from the roof-tops.


He was arrested on March 24, 2011, AFP reported, and accused of organizing illegal gatherings and incitement in connection with a series of weekly demonstrations in the Arab village of Nabi Saleh.


Nabi Saleh is a regular hotspot where Arabs, radical leftists and anarchists engage the IDF and Border Police in clashes every Friday, for the purpose of disseminating propaganda footage to the world. Much violence occurs there regularly and is initiated by the demonstrators, who injure soldiers who attempt to use non-violent means such as water and tear gas to disperse them.


Tamimi’s arrest sparked international condemnation, AFP noted, with the EU recognizing him as a human rights defender, and Amnesty International declaring him a prisoner of conscience.


Tuesday”s statement by Ashton”s spokesperson said that “The High Representative is very concerned by the conviction of Bassem Tamimi in an Israeli military court on 20 May 2012 on charges of taking part in illegal demonstrations and of soliciting protesters to throw stones.”


“The EU considers Bassem Tamimi to be a ‘human rights defender’ committed to non-violent protest against the expansion of an Israeli settlement on lands belonging to his West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. The EU attended all court hearings in his case and is concerned at the use of evidence based on the testimony of a minor who was interrogated in violation of his rights,” the statement continued.


“The EU believes that everyone should be able to exercise their legitimate right to protest in a nonviolent manner,” it concluded.


Dr. Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA, the Independent Media Review and Analysis, pointed out the problem in the EU”s statement.


“The EU doesn’t deny that Bassem Tamimi engaged in soliciting protesters to throw stones. And the EU doesn’t take a stand against stone throwing,” he wrote, adding that the question is “Does the EU consider stone throwing to fall within the classification of “non-violent protest”?”


Last week, as part of EU”s assessment of its partnership with 12 neighboring countries, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton listed a set of characteristically harsh “recommendations” regarding relations with Israel.


The recommendations include a call on Israel “to continue to step up its efforts to minimize settler violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and to bring all perpetrators to justice” and “address the excessive use of administrative detention.”


Ashton previously made a skewed comparison between the lethal, unprovoked shooting attack at a Jewish school in Toulouse and the unintended deaths of children in Gaza when Israel attempts to stop missile launchings and apprehend terrorists. She later categorically denied making that comparison.





Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti suggested Tuesday that Israel was involved in an explosion that killed a suspected arms smuggler in the eastern Sudanese city of Port Sudan. The blast happened just before 8:00 local time on the western edge of Port Sudan town, the AFP news agency reported.


“I heard a big explosion and I came out and saw a [Toyota] Prado car on fire, and two craters in the ground,” one resident told the news agency.


Sudanese TV has been broadcasting pictures of the damaged front of the car. It said an “unknown source” had “attacked a civilian vehicle”.


While the minister stopped short of explicitly blaming Israel, he said the explosion resembled a blast in April 2011, which Khartoum blamed on an Israeli missile strike. “The style of the car explosion was similar to Israel’s attack on Red Sea state (in 2011),” he told the pro-government al-Shorooq television station, according to its website.


A foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the remarks.


Israeli government spokesman Yigal Palmor declined to comment on the explosion.


The official SUNA news agency identified the driver as Nassir Awadallah Ahmed Saeed, 65, a Port Sudan businessman.


Spokesmen for Sudan’s police and armed forces were not immediately available for comment. Israel, which Sudan considers an enemy state, declined to comment on the 2011 blast that killed two people, and neither admitted nor denied a similar attack in eastern Sudan in 2009.


While Sudan denies allowing illegal weapon shipments across its territory, analysts say smugglers bring in weapons through the country’s east, then route them through Egypt’s Sinai desert and into the Hamas- controlled Gaza Strip.





Thousands of people attended the funeral on Tuesday evening of the eight members of the Atias family, who died in the horrific car crash near Tiberias on Monday night.


Rafael Atias (42), his wife Yehudit (42) and six of their children – 17-year-old Aviya, 16-year-old twins Elyashiv and Neria, 11-year-old Shira, eight-year-old Tair and four-year-old Noa – were laid to rest in the cemetery in Tzfat.


Only the couple”s seven-year-old daughter, Rachel, survived the crash.


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered his condolences over the deaths on Tuesday evening and wrote on his Facebook page, “A terrible tragedy happened in the north. An entire family perished. The whole country is now concentrating on little Rachel. Rachel – all the people are with you. All the people are hugging you.”


One of the attendees at the funeral was Minister of Science and Technology, Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, who just a few hours before the accident met the family at the opening of a synagogue. The tragic accident occurred as the family made its way back home from the ceremony.


“Just last night I celebrated with the Atias family, and this morning I learned that Rafi, son of Shimon who was the driving force behind the synagogue dedication ceremony, perished along with his wife and six of their children,” Hershkowitz said during the funeral.


“Rafi looked happy and excited, and it was an uplifting evening in which all of us were moved,” added Hershkowitz. “This is a chilling tragedy that is beyond our ability to comprehend.”


Police officials said on Tuesday their initial investigation had concluded the accident that claimed eight members of the Attias family resulted from mechanical failure.


However, police stress the investigation is not complete. Investigators are now reportedly looking into the cause of the mechanical defect, and have not ruled out possible negligence on the part of vehicle inspectors.


To this end, police are bringing in engineers from the Ministry of Transportation – and experts from an outside firm – to examine the car in detail.


The car passed inspection only three months ago, but the steep hills from Tzfat to Tiberias wear out brakes very quickly.





The former head of the Israel Police accident investigation team, Jacob Netzer, spoke with Arutz Sheva about his findings at the accident scene where eight members of the Atias family died.


He said reports in the media that police had concluded “mechanical failure” was the root cause of the accident were correct, but somewhat simplistic.


Netzer noted that preliminary findings showed the vehicle had passed the Motor Vehicle Bureau inspections as recently as three months ago, and that the brakes were listed as being in good condition.


While police are investigating whether there may have been negligence on the part of the inspectors, Netzer said other causes for the brake failure have not been ruled out.


Police have brought in engineers from the Ministry of Transportation and outside consultants, like Netzer, to determine the exact cause of the brake failure.


“We saw tread marks indicating the vehicle was traveling downhill when it entered a sharp curve in the road,” Netzer said. In the first third of the curve he had control of the vehicle, but in the middle third, and into the end, he began to lose control.”


Netzer said that the car hit the barrier on the side of the road, “He crashed into the railing, righted the car, and then struck again and righted the car. This happened four times.”


“In the end, the vehicle rolled over the barrier into the opposite lane, flew about 7 meters in the air, and landed on its roof.”


Netzer said he believes the fire that destroyed the vehicle and killed all but one of its occupants started when flammable material ignited around the wheels due to friction from the metal brakes.


At very high speeds break friction can reach 600 degrees Celsius, which is more than sufficient to ignite flammable liquids. Ordinary tire rubber has a flashpoint of 435 to 557 degrees Celsius.


Netzer said, if the data released today is correct, the vehicle travelled about 7 kilometers and navigated five turns while the driver was on the phone with police.


“If this had happened when vehicles were passing on the other side of the road it could have been even worse,” Netzer said, noting that the car flipping over the divider required tremendous speed and force.


He added that it is possible for a driver with inoperable brakes to slow his vehicle by shifting down through the gears, or intentionally skidding along the safety barrier.






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Israel Celebrates Jerusalem Day

Sent: May 20, 2012 09:38
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Iyar 28, 5772 / Sunday, May. 20 ’12

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  1. 1.      Israel Celebrates Jerusalem Day
  2. 2.      Green Light to Strengthen Jerusalem Tourism
  3. 3.      Jewish Birthrate Up, Arab Rate Down in Jerusalem
  4. 4.      Activists Arrested for Bowing on Temple Mount
  5. 5.      Terrorist Kidnapping Cell Arrested
  6. 6.      Terrorist Wounded in Failed Attack on Bicyclists
  7. 7.      Nationalists’ Knesset Strength Soars in New Poll
  8. 8.      Boycott Boomerang: Arab Jobless Rate to Rise

1. Israel Celebrates Jerusalem Day

by Arutz Sheva Staff

On Saturday night and Sunday Israelis will celebrate Jerusalem Day, which marks the reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War after 19 years of Jordanian occupation of the eastern part of the city.

The outnumbered Jewish defenders of the Old City and its Jewish residents, who had lived there continuously for hundreds of years, were forced to evacuate during Israel’s War of Independence. The Jordanians destroyed 48 of the 49 synagogues they overran, used gravestones from the ancient Mount of Olives Cemetery for latrines and closed the Old City to Jews.

Synagogues were full Saturday night as many Israelis held special, festive prayer sessions in honor of the 45th anniversary of the capital’s reunification, declared a minor Jewish holiday by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. Some synagogues recite the Hallel prayer in the morning and recite some of the holiday prayers. Memorial services are also held for IDF soldiers who fell freeing the city.

The government will hold a special session Sunday at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, which was the site of some of the Six Day War’s fiercest battles and where 36 paratroopers died. During the session the government will vote on a series of motions aimed to develop Jerusalem in terms of tourism, economy and more.

One of the motions is the development of Ammunition Hill at a cost of 20 million shekels.

At 3 p.m. the annual Jerusalem Day Rikudglaim (march and dancing with Israeli flags), led by religious Zionist high school students and youth organizations will take place in and around the Old City.

Later in the evening, the flagship religious Zionist yeshiva, Merkaz Harav Kook in Jerusalem will host the main Jerusalem Day celebrations. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, rabbis from all over the country, ministers, and members of Knesset are expected to be in attendance.

In the early hours of the morning, continuing a 45 year old tradition, Merkaz HaRav students will dance their way from the yeshiva, located near the entrance to the city, to the Western Wall.

The Merkaz Harav event will be broadcast live on Arutz Sheva.

It was at Merkaz Harav yeshiva at the Independence Day celebration of 1967, that the venerable Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook zts”l, son of Chief Rabbi HaRav Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook who had also been head of the yeshiva, rose to speak and broke into the anguished cry –

“Where is our Hevron? Where is our Jericho? Where is our Shechem? Where is every bit of Eretz Yisrael? How can we accept that the verse that says ‘and they divided my land’ has come to pass?”

He told the awestruck students “I could not be truly happy [seeing the lack of these holy sites in the partition borders] on the first Independence Day [in 1948]”.

The very next day, Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran and threated the Jewish state with extinction. The Six Day War began three weeks later, with the whole world expecting Israel’s annihilation. Graves were dug in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv by high schoolers in preparation for catastrophe.

However, the students had reason to recall his prophetic words with awe, when his prayers were answered and Jerusalem, Hevron, Shechem and Jericho returned to Jewish hands in a miraculous victory.

28 Iyar 1967: Mota Gur, the legendary commander of the forces that entered the Old City, announced on Israel radio: “The Temple Mount is in our hands,” IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren blew the shofar at the Western Wall, and tens of thousands of Israelis rushed to Jerusalem and made their way on foot to the Wall after 19 years in which Jordan had denied them access to Judaism’s holiest site.

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2. Green Light to Strengthen Jerusalem Tourism

by Chana Ya’ar

The government has approved a new plan to develop tourism in Jerusalem and the economy of the capital city.

Meeting on Ammunition Hill to honor the reunification of the city on Jerusalem Day, the Cabinet gave its approval to the NIS 350 million blueprint. The six-year plan calls for expansion of current public spaces, infrastructure and tourist sites.

“These investments will help give expression to Jerusalem’s vast potential as a focus for global tourism and will greatly contribute to the development and strength of Israel’s capital,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the start of the Cabinet meeting.

Among sites to be developed and upgraded is the Mount of Olives cemetery. The site has been repeatedly vandalized by Arabs who live in the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and who also attack Jews who come to visit the graves. A new police station recently opened near the site, but local Arabs are determined to drive out Jews who have moved back in areas that were once populated by their ancestors.

Nevertheless, a local museum on the Mount of Olives is also expected to receive some NIS 20 million in funding as the government proceeds with its plans to strengthen and rehabilitate the ancient Jewish site.

In addition, the Cabinet discussed plans to approve NIS 1 million to develop plans for a museum on the life and works of scientist and mathematician Albert Einstein.

Construction of a residence compound for security forces in the city was also approved.

“The Israel Land Administration will allocate tender-exempt land in Jerusalem neighborhoods for career IDF and Israel Police personnel,” explained the Prime Minister’s media adviser. “The decision will ease the construction of residential developments and assist in attracting a strong population to the city.”

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3. Jewish Birthrate Up, Arab Rate Down in Jerusalem

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

The Jewish birthrate in Jerusalem is higher than the Arab birthrate, putting an end to reports of an Arab demographic threat in the united capital.

The birthrate in the expected life of mothers is 4.2 children for Jewish mothers compared with 3.9 children for Arab mothers, according to the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies (JIIS).

Reflecting the trend in the rest of Israel, the birthrate for Jews represents a dramatic reversal and is on the increase while the Arab birthrate is declining.

In 1999, the birthrate was only 3.8 for Jewish mothers and 4.4 for Arabs, the JIIS reported.

Jews are a solid majority in the city, where the Arab population is only 36 percent, almost all of them in the areas that were restored to the capital 45 years ago in the Six-Day War in 1967.

The total population of Jerusalem as of last year is 801,000.

The largest Jewish neighborhoods are Ramot and Pisgat Ze’ev, each one with slightly more than 40,000 people, followed by Gilo with 29,600. All three neighborhoods are located in areas restored to Israel n 1967 and which are claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

Har Homa is the youngest non-hareidi religious neighborhood with a median age of only 22 years, while Kiryat Wolfson’s median age is 66.

In hareidi religious neighborhoods, the youngest median age is 16 in Ramat Shlomo and in the Kiryat Kaminetz neighborhood of Neve Yaakov, both areas also restored to the capital in 1967.

The youngest Arab neighborhoods are Shuafat, where the median age is 16, and Sheikh Jarreh, with a mean age of 17.

The city lost 7,500 residents last year, with 10,500 people moving to Jerusalem and 18,000 leaving. The largest movements were to and from Tel Aviv.

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4. Activists Arrested for Bowing on Temple Mount

by Chana Ya’ar

Knesset Member Michael Ben Ari (National Union) and a few dozen activists celebrated Jerusalem Day by going up to the Temple Mount Sunday morning and asked to pray on the site.

Unlike the activists who kept their prayers short, Ben Ari threw himself down full length on to the ground of the Temple Mount as part of the prayer.

According to those who were with the lawmaker, the Arab bystanders did not respond to Ben Ari’s action. “We scare ourselves for nothing,” said the MK. “Arabs understand what leftists do not understand. We have a right to pray on the Mount.”

Although the Arab security force on the site tried to arrest the MK and two other activists, Ben Ari refused to cooperate, insisted on his diplomatic immunity and claimed his right to pray on the site.

Earlier, those who went up to the Temple Mount explained the decision to do so especially on this day as a desire “to bring loyalty to the holiest site in Jerusalem” as they defined it.

At 3:00 p.m. Sunday, thousands of people are expected to march around and through the Old City of Jerusalem in the traditional flag march marking the reunification of the ancient capital.

The route of the march will once again pass through the Muslim Quarter, despite last year’s disturbances, after having been confirmed by the Commissioner of Police.

On Sunday evening, celebrants will gather at the Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav Kook for an assembly with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, government ministers, Knesset members, honored rabbis and various other public figures.

Arutz Sheva’s Israel National News will broadcast live video from the celebration.

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5. Terrorist Kidnapping Cell Arrested

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Security agents have cracked a terrorist cell that roamed Judea and Samaria and failed several times to kidnap residents, especially women.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) broke a gag order Sunday, two months after the arrest of nine terrorists, whose commander is from the area of Ramallah, headquarters of the Palestinian Authority.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) cell planned to post a video on the Internet after a kidnapping in order to negotiate for the release of jailed terrorists. The cell planned to stage the attacks with stun guns and tear gas.

They used the method of faking a disabled vehicle or of simply blocking two-lane highways in Judea and Samaria. Most of the attempted kidnaps were reported by Arutz Sheva but they were mostly overlooked by mainstream media.

On March 11, the terrorists tried to pull an Israeli driver from his car near Kiryat Sefer, located next to Modiin between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, but the motorist was able to escape.

The following day, the terrorists blocked a road and tied to smash the windshield of a vehicle that was forced to stop. The motorist, realizing she was falling into a trap, stepped on the gas pedal and barely found a way to get past the roadblock.

The cell continued to prowl Judea and Samaria, and three days later, around midnight on March 15, they again blocked a car driven by a woman, whose baby was riding with her. The terrorists smashed her windshield, but she was saved when another Israeli vehicle arrived on the scene.

Two people narrowly escaped the would-be kidnappers’ clutches when they were hitchhiking. One of the hitchhikers started to accept the ride when the terrorist stopped but changed his mind at the behest of his friend, who realized the danger.

Security officials said that the repeated attempts to kidnap Israelis represent the high motivation of terrorists to abduct civilians, a tactic that Hamas and other terrorist groups have intensively promoted since Israel freed more than 1,000 terrorists and security prisoners in return for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit last year.

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6. Terrorist Wounded in Failed Attack on Bicyclists

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

An Arab terrorist was seriously wounded by his own knife Sunday at 12 noon when he tried to stab a soldier accompanying hundreds of bicyclists near Gush Etzion, all of whom escaped injury.

The cyclists were on the traditional ride from Kiryat Arba-Hevron to Jerusalem to celebrate the 45th Jerusalem Unification Day.

A contingent of soldiers and police escorted the bicycle event, and when the riders reached the Gush Etzion intersection, located a few miles south of Jerusalem, a terrorist appeared with a knife, and lunged at the soldiers.

The soldier nearest the terrorist reacted quickly, preventing him from approaching the cyclists, and during the clash, the terrorist’s knife entered his own stomach, wounding him seriously.

Israeli medics rushed him to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

The heavily populated area includes Efrat (which has its own municipality), Alon Shvut, Elazar, Neve Daniel, the Har Etzion hesder yeshiva, Ohr Torah institutions and more.

The head of the Gush Etzion Regional Authority, Davidi Perl, responded to the terrorist attempt: “The attempted terrorist attack was planned for the day on which we celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem and the return of Judea and Samaria to Jewish rule – an attack on hundreds of young cyclists and their families. There is no doubt that this attempt, as with all the others that we have witnessed in the past few months, is intended to break the spirit of our nation, but the song of building and the blossoming of Gush Etzion and all of Judea, will go on.”

“I am filled with admiration and gratitude to the brave soldier whose alertness prevented a possible tragedy. Our thanks to all the security forces who dealt so efficiently with the incident”, he added.

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7. Nationalists’ Knesset Strength Soars in New Poll

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

The National Union and Jewish Home parties would win 12 Knesset seats if elections were held today, according to a new independent poll.

The combined total of 12 seats is almost twice the current number and reflects a movement of nationalists from the Likud party after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu averted new elections by coaxing the center-left Kadima party to join a national unity coalition.

The Geocartography results project a coalition that would give the National Union, which is not in the current coalition government, and Jewish Home more clout. The projected national religious coalition would include 74 Knesset members, without the presence of Yair Lapid’s new Future party and without Labor or Kadima.

Geocartography, one of Israel’s largest polling companies and headed by Prof. Avi Dagni, carried out the survey which shows a loss of strength for both the Likud and Kadima.

Prof. Dagni explained that that the two parties lost approximately seven seats, mostly to the benefit of  National Union, headed by Knesset member Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz, Jewish Home and Yisrael Beytenu.

The poll gives Kadima, under the leadership of Shaul Mofaz, only seven seats, which still is four more than a different survey reported last week.

The lineup according to Geocartography is:

Likud – 31
Labor – 16
Yisrael Beiteinu – 15
Shas – 9
Yair Lapid’s Future party – 8
Kadima – 7
United Torah Judaism – 7
National Union – 7
Jewish Home – 5
Meretz – 4
Arab parties – 11.

The most significant result other than the increase in the strength of national parties is the zero representation for Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who broke off from Labor last year to from the Independence party.

The elections are scheduled for next year when the present Knesset’s term expires, unless the coalition falls apart.

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8. Boycott Boomerang: Arab Jobless Rate to Rise

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

South Africa’s decision to label products from Judea and Samaria (Shomron) as “Palestinian” will boomerang and cause a rise in the Arab jobless rate, a Jewish factory owner says.

South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry  Minister Rob Davies warned merchants last week “not to incorrectly label products that originate from the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) as products of Israel,” bowing to pressure from the international Boycott Israel movement.

Approximately 15,000 Arabs work for Jewish manufacturers and exporters in Judea and Samaria, and they will be the first to feel the effects of any drop in sales. “They won’t find better jobs in Ramallah or Shechem,” notes one Jewish factory owner.

He also said that if he has no choice other than to relocate in an area of Israel that is not part of Judea and Samaria, all of his Palestinian Authority employees will be without work.

Denmark may duplicate the policy announced by South Africa, and pro-Palestinian Authority groups are pressuring other countries to join the movement to mark Judea and Samaria as “Palestinian.”

The government is not taking the South African decision quietly, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor Saturday night called the decision “racist.”

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Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report || Friday, May. 18 ’12, Iyar 26, 5772

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Friday, May. 18 ’12, Iyar 26, 5772











by Gabe Kahn




Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday said he is skeptical that Iran will agree to halt its nuclear program.


“I see no evidence whatsoever that Iran is ready to end its nuclear program,” he said just days ahead of a crucial round of nuclear talks with Tehran.


The P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – are set for a May 23 meeting with Iran in Baghdad.


Speaking in Prague, Netanyahu called it “the paramount issue of our time.”


Netanyahu did not present any ultimatums, but Israeli officials have said time is running out to avoid military action.


This marks the third time in recent months Netanyahu has said he does not believe Western sanctions will prove effective in halting Iran’s nuclear program.


His government maintains a nuclear weapon in the hands of Iran would threaten the Jewish state’s survival.


Israel is not alone in believing Tehran is pursuing nuclear research with military applications – or considering a military strike in Iran’s nuclear sites.


US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro this week indicated Iran now had a very short “window” in which to agree to a diplomatic solution.


“It would be preferable to resolve this diplomatically and through the use of pressure than the use of military force,” Shapiro said during a speech in Tel Aviv.


“But that doesn’t mean that option is not fully available – not just available, but it’s ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready.”


While US officials have made tangential references to a “military options” vis-a-vis Iran, none have done so in such forthright terms to date.


International Atomic Energy Agency officials are pressing Iran to address concerns spelled out in an extensive IAEA report released in November 2011.


The report alleges that at least until 2003, and probably since then, Tehran has engaged in nuclear activities of a decidedly military nature.


They also want access to the Parchin military base near Tehran where the IAEA report – which cited foreign intelligence, its own sources, and Iranian information – said Iran had conducted high-explosives tests in a specially designed chamber.


Two previous trips to Tehran in January and February by the IAEA resulted in Iran denying inspectors access to suspected nuclear sites.


Iran, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is obligated to allow the UN watchdog access to its site for inspections to ensure it is complying with the treaty.


IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said recently that access to Parchin was a “priority” and that “activities” spotted by satellite there “makes us believe that going there sooner is better than later.”


In March, Amano also charged Iran with a systemic attempt to cover up nuclear activity of a military nature saying, “Iran is not telling us everything.”


Western nations have accused Iran of removing evidence from Parchin and other sites – and Tehran’s Gulf Arab rivals have also charged Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.





Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat told Arutz Sheva on Thursday that he sees cranes in Jerusalem as a sign of success – and sovreignty.


 “We are on a path of success,” Barkat said. “We see it in several respects, including growth and development. This skyline is full of cranes. “Anyone who comes and sees this, sees that something good is happening in the city – Jerusalm is succeeding.”


“Sovereignty cannot stay on paper,” he declares, “Anyone who thinks that if you just declare sovereignty you have resolved the problem is wrong.”


“There is a direct relationship between development in the urban neighborhoods and sovereignty,” he said. “You must enforce zoning and construction laws, collects taxes, improve schools, talk with the people and solve problems – that is sovereignty.”


Barkat told Arutz Sheva that illegal construction could only be tackled if Israel took responsibility for Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods.


“You have to understand where illegal construction comes from,” Barkat said. “We have Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, which, unfortunately, are badly neglected. As mayor, visiting these areas, I was forced to ask why this is?”


“We have two bad alternatives: one, we can act like an ostrich; the other, to accept a huge disparity between the quality of life in these neighborhoods, and other neighborhoods, which should not be.


“I choose a third option,” Barkat said. “I chose to take responsibility and extend my office’s sovereignty to these neighborhoods, to improve the quality of life in them, and increase investment there.”


The move to improve the quality of life in eastern Jerusalem is not without political implications.


“It’s not a controversial idea, but right-wingers are more supportive of this process than the left, because they understand that investments in East Jerusalem are a means of applying Israel’s sovereignty,” Barkat said.


“The left thinks differently about the city’s theme of unity,” he went on. “They do not realize that ideology and practice must go hand in hand. There is no chance that Jerusalem will succeed if she is divided again.”


“So we have to insist on the unity of the city. For the right, improving the quality of life in eastern Jerusalem jives with both practice and ideology. For the left, it jives with practice, but ideologically it is problematic. I’m not sure they want it.”


Interestingly, Barkat some of his strongest supporters are Arabs living in eastern Jerusalem.


“They have lot of respect,” Barkat said. “They know I care about them and know their quality of life will rise. This is important to all of us. Additionally, they are increasingly satisfied with the city and recognize my office’s sovereignty in Jerusalem.”


“This leads to a situation where they themselves would prefer to keep Jerusalem united because they see the results of our efforts and they understand progress.


“Its not Zionism, but in practice, they know it is important to continue to live under Israeli sovereignty,” Barkat explained.


However, the primary impediment to Barkat’s goals for Jerusalem is not the political left, or Arabs in the city, but Israel’s own security establishment.


“Unfortunately, whoever gave a ‘waiver’ for permits in eastern Jerusalem- and his reasoning was probably due to security considerations – did not take into account how dividing Jerusalem with a fence would affect Israel sovereignty,” Birkat said.


“I have not ignored the issue,” he said. “I have raised it again and again at the political level, but the tools available to the Jerusalem Municipality to alter security policy is limited.


“This difficulty is very real. I keep telling the government we must be allowed to exercise sovereignty in neighborhoods beyond the security wall. But, this problem persists.”



3. MORE THAN 60,000 CALL FOR POLLARD’S FREEDOM by Maayana Miskin


More than 60,000 people have signed a letter calling on President Shimon Peres to do whatever he can to free Jonathan Pollard. The campaign for Pollard”s freedom has taken on new energy as the date on which Peres will be given the Medal of Freedom approaches.


Members of Knesset, Canadian rabbis and Gilad Shalit are among those who have called on Peres to turn down the prestigious prize if Pollard is not released.


On Thursday, Israel Prize winner, Rabbi Chaim Druckman joined the call. In a speech given at the Rabbis” Conference in Jerusalem, Rabbi Druckman appealed to his colleagues, “Please, do what you can so that Jonathan will leave jail alive.”


Activists say the campaign is just getting started. Over the next few days, volunteers will take to the streets to distribute pamphlets explaining Pollard”s plight and calling to sign the letter.


“As we get more signatures, we know that we are reaching wider circles, circles of people who may not have been sufficiently aware of the matter, who now understand that this isn”t just a matter of justice but of life and death,” campaign director Effie Yahav said.


Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for giving classified information to Israel, has become seriously ill and was recently hospitalized. He has since been released, but his condition remains poor.





Those living in Ramat Migron have resident status in the area, and are not obligated by IDF orders declaring the area a closed military zone, a Jerusalem judge has ruled. The ruling follows a similar ruling regarding a man from the Mitzpe Avichai outpost.


The court order came after a young man was arrested on Wednesday night for entering Ramat Migron after it had been declared a closed military zone. The teen was represented by the Honenu legal rights group.


Attorney Yitzchak Bam spoke to Arutz Sheva following the verdict. Bam, who also represented Aryeh Davis in the precedent-setting Mitzpe Avichai case, explained that the recent verdicts are the first in which judges have recognized that Jews can also be permanent residents in Judea and Samaria.


Previously, IDF orders declaring a closed military zone – a measure often used in an attempt to prevent riots – would normally include an exception for PA residents of the area in order to avoid infringing on their freedom of movement. However, there was no exception made for Jewish residents of Homesh, Ramat Migron, or other communities considered illegal outposts by the IDF.


Bam said that in addition to violating his client”s rights as a Ramat Migron resident, police had violated his rights as a minor. As a 15-year-old, the client should have had his parents or another adult present while he was questioned. However, Bam accused, police questioned the young man alone.





Ten months ago, Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira was stabbed to death during one of the many personal meetings he held with people seeking his aid. This week, work was completed on a synagogue that will be called Ohel Elazar in his memory.


The synagogue in Yokneam was built over a long period, with funding provided in part by the Housing Ministry. It will serve hundreds of residents of the Givat Hacalaniyot neighborhood.


Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira”s son Rabbi Pinchas Abuchatzeira was present as the synagogue was officially inaugurated, as were relatives Rabbi David Abuchatzeira and the Baba Baruch.


Rabbi David Abuchatzeira thanked Housing Minister Ariel Atias for his involvement in the project. “During these difficult times, when building a synagogue is not easy financially, we have Rabbi Ariel Atias, sent by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef,” he said.


Atias spoke as well, “The Housing Ministry, as the ministry responsible for building cities in Israel, builds synagogues and mikvas, daycare centers and community centers for residents” well-being,” he said.


“Over the past few years the ministry has built around a thousand new apartments in Yokneam,” he continued. “I am glad I had the merit to inaugurate a synagogue…. We will continue, as Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has instructed, to develop institutions of Torah in neighborhoods the Housing Ministry builds.”


More than 1,300 new apartments are to be put on the market in Yokneam in the near future, he added.





Kadima, the largest faction in the present Knesset, would crash from 28 seats to just 3 if elections were held today, according to a new poll conducted by the Panels Institute for the Knesset Channel.


The party was expected to lose much of its power in the next elections but the extremely unfavorable poll appears to be a direct result of the deal that party leader Shaul Mofaz recently made with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in which Kadima entered the coalition.


Polls held shortly after that deal showed Mofaz losing popularity.


Many of the seats lost by Kadima would go to the newly formed Yesh Atid party headed by journalist Yair Lapid. The poll gives Lapid 17 MKs.


Likud is at 30 Knesset seats, more or less as it has been in other recent polls. Labor reaches 20 seats and becomes the second-largest party.


Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu receives 12 seats, Shas – which currently has 11 – gets only 6, United Torah Judaism stays with the current 5, the National Union climbs to 9 and the Jewish Home receives 3.


Meretz doubles its power to receive 6 seats.


The projection gives the so-called right-religious bloc 62 seats and makes a Likud-coalition with more Lapid likely.




by Gabe Kahn


European Union Committee for Foreign Affairs chairman Dr. Fiorello Provera said this week that the EU was obligated to intervene on behalf of Muhammad Abu Shahala.


Abu Shahala was sentenced to death by a Palestinian Authority court for selling the Beit HaMachpela (House of the Patriarchs) to Jewish families in Hevron.


“Abu Shahala’s conviction has no justification, and therefore the European Union will intervene to save his life,” Provera wrote in response to a plea by Hevron’s Jewish community asking the EU intervene on Abu Shahala’s behalf. “It is inconceivable that a man who sells his house will be convicted of a crime and sentenced to death.”


“The PA is the foremost beneficiary of a European assistance, so we must intervene interest and demand the PA immediately cancel Abu Shahala’s death sentence. And, to remove the death penalty for the sale of property and land [to Jews].”


Provera indicated media reports in Israel had prompted EU Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton to intervene on Abu Shahala’s behalf – adding that European Union policy opposed the death penalty in all cases.


Provera concluded, “I call on the PA to immediately block the implementation of death sentence on Abu Shahala, as required by the UN General Assembly.”


Abu was arrested four months ago and questioned about selling Beit Machpela to local Jews. Initially, he was released, but was rearrested 66 days later, reportedly tortured into confessing, and placed in solitary confinement.


The execution order against Abu Shahala still requires the signature of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Meanwhile, Abu Shahala, who suffers from heart disease and has had four catheterizations, is said to be in deteriorating health.


Jewish leaders David Wilder and Noam Arnon in Hevron have petitioned UN chief Ban Ki-moon, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton; European Council president Herman Van Rompuy; and the director general of the International Red Cross, Yves Daccord, among others, to intervene on Abu Shahala’s behalf.


“It is appalling to think that property sales should be defined as a “capital crime” punishable by death,” they wrote to the leaders. “The very fact that such a “law” exists within the framework of the PA legal system points to a barbaric and perverse type of justice, reminiscent of practices implemented during the dark ages.”


“What would be the reaction to a law in the United States, England, France, or Switzerland, forbidding property sales to Jews? Less than one hundred years ago, such acts were legislated and practiced, in the infamous “Nuremberg laws….”





On Israel’s Independence Day, 45 years ago, in 1967, the annual festivities were taking place at the Merkaz HaRav Kook flagship religious Zionist yeshiva in Jerusalem, when the venerable Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook zts”l, rose to speak and broke into an anguished cry –


“Where is our Hevron? Where is our Jericho? Where is our Shechem? Where is every bit of Eretz Yisrael? How is it that we accept that the verse that says ‘and they divided my land’ has come to pass?”


He told the awestruck students “I could not be truly happy [seeing the lack of these holy sites in the partition borders] on the first Independence Day [in 1948]”.


The next day, Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran.


The students had reason to recall his words with awe, when three weeks later, his prayers were answered and Jerusalem, Hevron, Shechem and Jericho returned to Jewish hands.


In continuation of this love for Jerusalem and every inch of the Holy Land, approximately a thousand religious Zionist rabbis, including old and young rabbis, community leaders, educators and rabbis in uniform, met on Thursday at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel in Jerusalem for a first of its kind Jerusalem Day conference.


Speakers included chief rabbis of cities and heads of yeshivas and Torah institutes, such as Rav Sheer Yashuv Cohen of Haifa,   Rav Yaakov Ariel of Ramat Gan, Rav Nachum Rabinowitz of Maaleh Adumim, Rav Zalman Baruch Melamed of Beit El, Rav Chaim Drukman of Ohr Etzion representing hesder yeshivas, Rav Yaakov Shapiro of Merkaz Harav, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu of Tsfat, Rav Yisrael Rosen of the Tsomet Halakhic Institute. Rabbi Aharon LIchtenstein of Har Etzion spoke by video.


The rabbinical conference, which was held in honor of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Reunification) Day, reunited 45 years ago in the Six Day War, dealt with the unity of Jerusalem and with unity in general.