European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 01/09/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 01/09/2016

Major Headlines
  • Soldier shot near Joseph’s Tomb

A soldier was shot overnight on Wednesday while at Joseph's Tomb. The soldier was a part of routine security for a coordinated trip of 16 buses visiting the tomb, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The soldier was taken to hospital where he was described as being in stable condition.

Prayers at the site went on as planned although several instances disturbed the event, including stone throwers and Molotov cocktails. 

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Israel approves hundreds of new homes in West Bank settlements

Israel approved on Wednesday the construction of hundreds of new housing units in West Bank settlements and retroactively legalised dozens more, Ha’aretz reports.

The plan has already been approved at the political level.

The Civil Administration's High Planning Committee approved the building of 234 homes in Elkanah, which are designated by the plan as a nursing home, 31 homes in Beit Arye, and 20 homes in Givat Ze'ev. The committee has also legalised 178 housing units which were built in Beit Arye in the 1980s.

The housing units planned for Elkana still require objections to be heard before a final approval is granted.

The Civil Administration is the Israeli agency that oversees services for residents of the occupied West Bank. 

Click here to read the full article in Haaretz


  • Police in damage-control mode after chief’s remarks on Ethiopians

The Israel Police on Wednesday sought to hamper criticism of Commissioner Insp Gen Roni Alsheich’s controversial remarks regarding policing of Ethiopian Israelis, amid demands emanating from the Ethiopian-Israeli community for an apology and the national police chief’s resignation, the Jerusalem Post reports.

On Tuesday, he said that some officers are “naturally” suspicious of Ethiopian Israelis. “When a policeman meets a suspect [of Ethiopian descent or other groups with higher crime rates], naturally he is more suspicious than with others. We know this. We have started to deal with this,” Alsheich said at the Israel Bar Association Conference in Tel Aviv, causing an uproar among Ethiopian Israelis and some MKs.

On Wednesday, Alsheich spoke with Ziva Mekonen-Degu, the executive director of the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews, seeking to clarify his comments. “When there is an increase in crime there is over-policing. When a police officer sees an Ethiopian he translates the colour of the skin so anyone who walks down the street is a suspect, and we are educating the officers how to deal with this,” Alsheich said during the meeting.

Alsheich continued, comparing the issue of over-policing facing Israelis of Ethiopian decent to policing issues that faced other Israeli communities. “This process is what we went through with the waves of immigration in Israel.” 

Despite attempted clarifications, many in the Ethiopian-Israeli community are still not satisfied.

In a statement on Wednesday, MK Avraham Neguise called for Alsheich to issue an apology. “The police commissioner’s words again raised the lack of trust between the community and police. Although he called and told me what he meant, once again I urge the police commissioner to stand up and apologise to the community and to Israeli society,” Neguise said.

Hana Elazar Legesse, spokeswoman for the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews, called Mekonen-Degu’s conversation with Alsheich “terrible” because the police chief did not retract his offensive statement.

“It is a pity that [Alsheich] continues to whitewash and continues to expound his beliefs; we are not immigrants, we are citizens of Israel,” she said. “This is a huge problem because a man who stands in such a significant position cannot be able to say these things – he needs to resign.”

Police spokeswoman Merav Lapidot appeared on Channel 10’s morning show and said that Ethiopian- Israeli youth are seen “just like our kids.” Lapidot contended that Alsheich’s statements were misunderstood.

“The police chief says that if there is a problem in understanding the message it was probably delivered the wrong way,” said Lapidot.

Police had issued a clarification a few hours after Alsheich’s statement saying that the comments “had no intention to harm Israelis of Ethiopian origin,” but were meant to improve police efforts in Ethiopian communities.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan backed the commissioner in a statement on Tuesday. “The police chief did not justify the phenomenon of over-policing against Israelis of Ethiopian origin. He did just the opposite. He said boldly that there is such a problem and the police are taking care of it,” Erdan said.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem post

Thursday, September 01, 2016
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