European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 19/09/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 19/09/2016

Major Headlines
  • Amid West Bank terror spike, IDF boosts forces in Hebron

The Israel Defence Forces deployed an additional infantry battalion to the West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday evening, following two days of attacks against soldiers and civilians, the Times of Israel reports.

The decision to reinforce the flashpoint locale with the Kfir Brigade’s Shimshon Battalion was made “in accordance with situation assessments following recent terror attacks,” the IDF said in a statement.

“The motivation and inspiration to carry out attacks against Israelis remains strong. That is why the IDF is strengthening its operational and intelligence efforts to stabilise the situation on the ground and deter these acts of terror,” a military official said, speaking anonymously.

The five attacks on Friday and Saturday — three stabbings, a car ramming and a rock throwing — caught many Israelis by surprise, as the violence that marked 2015 and early 2016 appeared to have waned in recent months, and raised fears that regular attacks could return.

On Saturday morning an IDF soldier was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack in the West Bank city of Hebron.

On Friday morning, a Jordanian national was shot and killed as he attempted to stab a Border Police officer at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.

Less than an hour later, a soldier shot and killed a Palestinian man and seriously wounded a Palestinian woman who carried out a car-ramming attack outside the Kiryat Arba settlement next to Hebron.

On Friday afternoon, a bus driver was also lightly wounded when unidentified perpetrators threw rocks and glass bottles full of paint at his vehicle on the highway between Jerusalem and the Ma’ale Adumim settlement.

And on Friday evening, a soldier was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack in Hebron. The assailant was shot and killed by forces at the Gilbert checkpoint near the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood. 

Click here to read the full article in Israel Hayom


  • Knesset member under fire for slamming hospitalised Peres

Politicians in both the government and opposition blasted MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List) after the Arab legislator harshly criticised Shimon Peres as the former president lay hospitalised after a stroke, Ha’aretz reports.

On Facebook, Ghattas called Peres a “tyrant” and a leader responsible for war crimes.

“Is he reaching the end of his road, Shimon Peres? We don’t know. The man has nine lives, but without a doubt he's on his last stretch,” Ghattas wrote.

“We have to remember that he is one of the main pillars of the Zionist colonial settler project and, in light of the results, is one of the worst extremists, someone who lived a long life and caused the most damage to the Palestinian and other Arab peoples,” he added.

“Peres managed, despite all these descriptions, to portray himself as a dove of peace, and even won a Nobel Peace Prize. Peres wouldn’t have achieved this without our direct and indirect deliberate and unintentional help.”

As Ghattas put it, “So at least when he’s about to die, we have to remember his true essence as a tyrant, being directly responsible for the crimes and war crimes that he committed against us. Our blood covers him from head to toe, and we won't rush to participate in the tribal festival of collective grieving and loss.”

Politicians on both the center-left and right criticized Ghattas.

MK Hilik Bar (Zionist Union) said Ghattas’ post was “horrifying and disgusting, in addition to being false and inflammatory. Unfortunately, Ghattas is choosing to continue to sow destruction and hate, and to use dark words against the man who contributed more than anyone to the rehabilitation of Israeli and Arab society, and certainly to the issue of coexistence and peace with the Palestinians.”

As MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Habayit Hayehudi) put it, “Ghattas is trying to grab headlines in the most pathetic way. Since he was elected to the Knesset, I haven’t seen him do a single worthy thing for the quality of life of Israeli Arabs, whether it was worth headlines or not. What motivates him is not just hatred of Israel but also envy. While Peres has a series of achievements to his credit in Israeli public life, even if some of them are controversial, Ghattas doesn’t have a single one.”

Ghattas later released his own statement. “The media buzz around my post is hysterical and incomprehensible,” he said.

“All I did was write my opinion, which reflects how the man is perceived in the Palestinian narrative and collective memory as one of the central leaders of the Zionist enterprise. This is a political position and opinion that has no connection to my humane position toward Mr. Peres and his family during this difficult time.” 

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem post


  • Balad party suspected of campaign fraud, 20 arrested

Police arrested 20 officials of the Arab nationalist Balad party early on Sunday on suspicion of campaign funding fraud totalling millions of shekels, including covering up foreign sources of party funds, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Balad denied the accusations and accused authorities of engaging in ''political persecution'' of Israel's Arab minority.

Balad chairman MK Jamal Zahalka said in a press conference at party headquarters in Nazareth that the Israeli police is "political." "When there's crime in Arab towns, the police doesn't act, but when there are political events, they are hyperactive," Zahalka stated.

Arab48, a website close to Balad, reported that the party's president, Awad Abdul-Fatah, had been taken into custody, while police said activists, lawyers and accountants were included among those arrested.

Balad, which has three seats in the Knesset, is uncompromising in its opposition to the Zionist ethos of the state and its MKs have been embroiled in controversies for acts seen by the right as provocative and disloyal.

The party was founded by fugitive former MK Azmi Bishara, who is suspected of espionage. Bishara fled Israel in 2007 while under investigation for passing information to Hezbollah during the previous year’s Second Lebanon War.

Since then, he has settled in Qatar, where he is thought to be close to the Emir, a major sponsor of Hamas, and reportedly received citizenship. 

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

Monday, September 19, 2016
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