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Prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Updated: 33 min 50 sec ago

How the IDF Found the Elad Murderers

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Ha'aretz-Jerusalem Post) Amos Harel - Traces of blood were found on banknotes discovered on Saturday in an open area near Elad by a reserve unit of experts in tracking and search operations. The unit was established in the wake of the search for the three teenaged boys who were killed in Gush Etzion in 2014. DNA testing concluded that the blood belonged to one of the suspects, who was wounded while his victims attempted to defend themselves. Assigned to search the area, the deputy commander of the elite Maglan unit said he noticed a pile of weeds that was laid on the ground conspicuously, near other greenery, "and then I noticed that the weeds were rising and falling, at the pace of someone breathing." The commander and his soldiers then discovered the two men. The Israel Security Agency "began interrogating them, and they admitted that they carried out the terror attack."

Palestinian Attacker Targets Home of Emergency Defense Guard

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Emanuel Fabian - A Palestinian from a neighboring Arab village, armed with a knife, entered the West Bank community of Tekoa on Sunday night and reached the front yard of the home of a local Israeli security officer, who shot the intruder at the entrance to his home.

Miracle in Tekoa

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Facebook-Hebrew) Hanoch Daum - A Tekoa resident was sitting with a cup of tea on his front porch Sunday evening when he saw a terrorist climb over the security fence near his house. He rushed his wife and children inside and went back out to find the terrorist. The attacker raised his knife but the resident shot him and ended the incident. The terrorist planned to slaughter women and children in their home. It was a great miracle that the terrorist attacked the wrong man. Tekoa is home to over 1,000 Israeli families, the largest community in the Gush Etzion Regional Council. The writer is a veteran Israeli journalist.

Tekoa Resident Recounts Confronting Terrorist

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) "We were sitting on the porch, on the western side of Tekoa. Suddenly, within that serene landscape, we spot a face, a person climbing the fence right in front of us," Yair Maimon told Radio 103FM on Monday. Security camera footage showed the attacker vaulting Tekoa's perimeter fence and then running into the town. "The community's fence is only three meters away from my home....Despite the fence being a deterrent, it doesn't help....By the time we send out an alert, [the terrorist] is already inside." On Monday, Maimon uploaded a picture to his Facebook page of his wife and himself sipping coffee on their porch with the caption: "Waiting for the next terrorist."

Israeli Border Police Officer Attacked in Jerusalem

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) An Israeli Border Police officer was stabbed by a Palestinian assailant at Jerusalem's Damascus Gate on Sunday night. The attacker was shot dead by security forces at the scene.

Israeli Prime Minister Calls for "Civilian National Guard" to Fight Palestinian Terror

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Prime Minister's Office) Amid a series of violent attacks in Israel over the past two months, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the Cabinet on Sunday: "I have instructed the National Security Council...to present the government with an orderly and budgeted plan to establish a civilian national guard by the end of the month." "The urgent need to strengthen the personal security of the citizens of Israel was born a year ago during the events of Operation Guardian of the Walls [in May 2021], mainly in the mixed cities, and it is more urgent than ever in the current wave of terrorism....We see the difference between incidents in which there was a responsible armed civilian in the area and those in which there was not." "The plan will be based on Border Police units, along with the mobilization of trained units of volunteers and reservists, who together will be defined as a national guard. They will be activated in emergencies and disturbances, and in routine times as well, as necessary."

PA, Jordan Seek to Prevent Hamas Takeover of Temple Mount

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Khaled Abu Toameh - The Palestinian Authority and Jordan are working together to stop Hamas from controlling the Aqsa Mosque compound (Temple Mount), a PA official said on Thursday.

Israeli President Honors 120 Outstanding IDF Soldiers

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Emanuel Fabian - President Isaac Herzog hosted an Independence Day ceremony at his official residence on Thursday to award the army's annual citations for distinguished service to 120 Israel Defense Forces soldiers and officers. Herzog posted photos of each of the honored soldiers on his Facebook page, although those whose military duties are classified had avatars. Of the 22 soldiers whose identities remained under wraps, 7 are women.

On the Temple Mount, Israel and the Palestinians Live in Parallel Worlds

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser - The tension between Israel and the Palestinians on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem largely reflects the completely different ways in which the two sides view the reality around the mount. The Israeli perceptual framework seeks stability and is committed to the status quo on the Temple Mount, to freedom of worship for all religions in Jerusalem, and to maintaining public order. It is thereby exercising its sovereignty and the responsibility entailed by it. However, many Palestinians, both in the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, along with many Israeli Arabs and Muslims worldwide, including in Jordan, see the existence of the nation-state of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel as lacking all justification. In their view, Israel's presence in east Jerusalem is illegal, and Israel as a state, and not just marginal messianic groups within it, seeks to alter the status quo on the Temple Mount. This problem is the product of long years of indoctrination and incitement based on religious beliefs and core values of Arab and Palestinian nationalism that portray the Jews as the ultimate evil. With no possibility of reaching a permanent solution and seeking to ensure stability in the short term, Israel has decided to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and pacify Gaza with material benefits. While this approach has certain advantages in the short term, it is likely to exact substantial costs in the medium and long term because it creates a sense of achievement among our enemies, raises their hopes of further achievements in the conflict over who is right, and erodes Israeli deterrence. The writer, Director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center, was formerly head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

Hamas Is Behind the Ramadan Escalation

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Lt.-Col. (ret.) Yohanan Tzoreff - The ongoing escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian arena is the product of a process planned and orchestrated by Hamas, in cooperation with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the PFLP, several months before Ramadan. As a lesson from the conflict of May 2021, Hamas sought to use the holy sites in eastern Jerusalem to foment a mass protest that would once again muster Palestinian solidarity in Jerusalem, throughout the West Bank, and in Israeli territory. However, both in Jerusalem and in the West Bank the masses did not take to the streets. In the current reality in the Palestinian arena, the masses can take part in such a campaign when there is coordination between Hamas and Fatah to create a consensus, or after increased friction and casualties with the Israeli police, especially around the holy sites in Jerusalem. But coordination between Hamas and Fatah is not viable today and there is no Palestinian consensus on a widespread confrontation with Israeli security forces. Moreover, the preparations of the Israeli police and the defense establishment to deal with the friction without causing many casualties have prevented mass involvement from developing. Yet Hamas gained some achievements: the Palestinian issue returned to the international agenda; most Arab countries, including those that normalized their relations with Israel, criticized it and even reprimanded its representatives; and the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and the crumbling Fatah movement were highlighted. The writer, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, served as Arab Adviser to the Civil Administration in Gaza and as head of the Palestinian-Arab Division in the Ministry of Intelligence and Strategy.

Gulf Arab Countries Copying Qatar in Hedging Against U.S. Power; Iran Is Thrilled

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Foreign Policy) Danielle Pletka - The emirate of Qatar houses a key U.S. air base, Al Udeid, and enjoys a defense pact and major non-NATO ally status with the U.S., all the while maintaining friendly relations with Iran; hosting senior leaders of U.S.-designated terrorist groups including Hamas and the Taliban; and financing Al Jazeera, a media network that pushes anti-Israel, anti-U.S., pro-Iran, and pro-Muslim Brotherhood messaging. Qatar's success has made it a model for the rest of the region. Increasingly doubtful about the constancy of U.S. military support, the rest of the Gulf is in the process of hedging their bets against U.S. power, playing footsie with Tehran and making economic and weapons deals with China and Russia. It became clear after Iranian-sponsored attacks on key Saudi oil facilities that even the most virulent of Iran's foes in the White House would not spring to Riyadh's defense. The writer is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Israel's Rise to Regional Prominence

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security) Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman - Israel's standing in world affairs is unprecedented in its reach and influence. One reason stems from the growing sense that the world is a more dangerous place than many had hoped it would be in the post-Cold War era. This sense was first triggered by Islamist terrorism and later by Russian invasions into neighboring countries. Israel's security-oriented policies, once derided as irrelevant in our times, are becoming better understood against this background. Israel's most valuable asset is its demonstrated willingness to act to oppose Iran's revolutionary ideology. Its relentless Campaign Between the Wars has been conducted mainly by the Israeli air force and backed by highly penetrating intelligence on Iranian activities in the region. This campaign has the effect of continuing to draw Arab states toward Israel. The writer, vice president of the JISS, held senior posts in IDF Military Intelligence for over 20 years.

Why Israel Has Two Memorial Days

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(JNS) Lenny Ben-David - Israel has two Memorial Days. Remembrance Day reminds us of the cost of having Israel. Holocaust Memorial Day reminds us of the cost of not.

Jordan and the Temple Mount: Have the Jordanians Forgotten Their Peace Treaty Obligations?

Sun, 05/08/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Amb. Alan Baker - The Israel-Jordan peace treaty of 1994 specifies that Israel "respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem." Israel agreed that the day-to-day administration and organization of visiting and worshipping at the Al-Aqsa Mosque would continue to be the responsibility of the Jordanian Waqf, a branch of Jordan's Ministry of Awqaf Islamic Affairs and Holy Places, subject to Israeli security supervision and presence. The most recent Ramadan disturbances have given rise to a number of statements and actions by senior Jordanian personalities, expressing both support and encouragement for the continuing violence, as well as voicing threats against Israel and calls to change the present arrangements regarding the Temple Mount. Such enhanced Jordanian activism raises questions about Jordan's commitments pursuant to the 1994 peace treaty with Israel. The peace treaty distinctly referred to the situation, recognized and acknowledged by both parties, which existed at the time of its signature in 1994. It must be assumed that Jordan thereby acknowledged and committed itself to Israel's overall authority, including security responsibility, over the Temple Mount compound, subject to Israel's recognition and acknowledgment of the special role of Jordan. Therefore, recent reports of a new Jordanian initiative to remove Israel's control over the Temple Mount and to transfer security responsibility from Israel to the Waqf, as well as the authority to approve non-Muslim visits to the Temple Mount, would appear to be at stark variance with Jordan's peace treaty obligations. Moreover, statements by senior Jordanian personalities expressing support and encouragement for the Al-Aqsa rioters would appear to be at variance with the provisions of the peace treaty. In Article 11 of the peace treaty, entitled "Mutual Understanding and Good Neighborly Relations," the parties undertook to "seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance based on shared historic values" and "to abstain from hostile or discriminatory propaganda against each other." The writer, who participated in the negotiation of the peace treaty with Jordan, served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Russia Accuses Israel of Supporting "Neo-Nazis" in Ukraine

Tue, 05/03/2022 - 17:00
(CBS News-Reuters) The Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday doubled down on earlier remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Jewish origins are "not a guarantee against rampant neo-Nazism in the country." The ministry said that "history, unfortunately, knows tragic examples of cooperation between Jews and the Nazis." Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid noted: "Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of anti-Semitism." The Russian Foreign Ministry responded that Lapid's comments "explain to a large extent why the current Israeli government supports the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv."

Iran Nuclear Deal near Death, but West Not Ready to Pull Plug

Tue, 05/03/2022 - 17:00
(Reuters) Arshad Mohammed - Western officials have largely lost hope the Iran nuclear deal can be resurrected, sources familiar with the matter said. While they have not completely given up on the pact, there is a growing belief it may be beyond salvation. "I sense little expectation that there is a positive way forward," said one source. Four Western diplomats echoed the sentiment that the deal is withering away.

IRGC Qods Force Commander: Israel Is a Cancer that Must Be Annihilated

Tue, 05/03/2022 - 17:00
(MEMRI-TV) IRGC Qods Force commander Gen. Esmail Qaani said in an April 29, 2022, International Quds Day address: "The great Imam [Khomeini] said that this cancerous growth [Israel] must be erased from the face of history....The life of this regime is about to end....Quds Day will continue until you are all annihilated. The resistance axis is stronger than ever before, and it will not stop until it annihilates you."

Iranian Plot Uncovered to Enlist Israelis as Spies

Tue, 05/03/2022 - 17:00
(Ynet News) Yoav Zitun - The Israel Security Agency said Monday it had uncovered an Iranian plot to enlist Israeli citizens to gather intelligence and even to launch attacks inside the country, using Facebook and WhatsApp. "Security officials call on all citizens of Israel to be vigilant in light of the recent revelations and report any unusual attempt to make contact with them to the police," the ISA said.

Netherlands Rejects Amnesty Report Accusing Israel of Apartheid

Tue, 05/03/2022 - 17:00
(Jerusalem Post) Lahav Harkov - The government of the Netherlands has rejected Amnesty International's report accusing Israel of apartheid against the Palestinians, Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra has said. "The cabinet does not agree with Amnesty's conclusion that there is apartheid in Israel or the territories occupied by Israel," Hoekstra wrote on Friday.

Israel Opens Underground Blood Bank

Tue, 05/03/2022 - 17:00
(Times of Israel) Nathan Jeffay - Israel's Magen David Adom on Monday opened a new $135 million underground national blood bank in Ramla - the Marcus National Blood Services Center. The three underground floors are protected by extra-thick concrete walls, blast doors, and airlocks, as well as shielding from biological and chemical attacks. No other country has "a facility like this, with such a high level of protection," said Moshe Noyovich, the engineer who oversaw the project.

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