European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 21/10/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 21/10/2016

Major Headlines 
  • Israeli forces prevented Islamic Jihad terror attack on Jerusalem wedding hall

Israeli security services announced on Thursday that they had thwarted an Islamic Jihad plot to attack a wedding hall in the south of the country and to kidnap and kill a soldier for the purposes of bargaining with Israel, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Mahmoud Yousef Hassin Abu Taha, a resident of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, was arrested last month while entering Israel through the Erez crossing, ostensibly for purposes of commerce.

Abu Taha was enlisted by Wael Sufian Abu Taha, a senior Islamic Jihad official in Gaza, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said. He instructed Mahmoud to form a cell in order to carry out a terrorist attack in the South and to kidnap a soldier to be used in a prisoner swap, the agency said.

The three men whom Mahmoud enlisted to help him with the attacks were also arrested.

One of the suspects, Shafik Hamed Ahmed Abu Taha, 55, was illegally residing in Israel and was an employee of the wedding hall that the cell planned to attack. A second suspect, Ahmed Tisir Abdulrahman Abu Taha, 39, from Gaza, was also illegally residing in Israel. A third suspect, a 40-year-old from Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, was living in southern Israel legally after having gained residency through marriage by way of the family reunification law.

According to the Shin Bet, Mahmoud planned to kill the soldier, bury him and send his belongings back to Gaza to use as bargaining chips with Israel.

“This grave affair yet again exhibits the efforts of terrorist elements in Gaza to carry out murderous terrorist attacks in Israel,” the agency said. 

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Archaeologists find battle site where Romans breached Jerusalem walls

Israeli archaeologists found the site of a fierce battle where the Roman army bombarded and breached the walls of Jerusalem before conquering the city and destroying the Second Temple almost 2,000 years ago, officials said on Thursday, the Times of Israel reports.

They said that the discovery, made last winter during an excavation of a construction site for the new campus of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design outside the Old City, also finally confirmed the description, provided by the historian Josephus Flavius, of the wall that was breached.

During the dig, the archaeologists found the remains of a tower surrounded by scores of stones and boulders fired by Roman catapults at the Jewish forces guarding the wall, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

“This is a fascinating testimony of the intensive bombardment by the Roman army, led by Titus, on their way to conquering the city and destroying the Second Temple,” the statement said.

For much of the 20th century, scholars have been debating the route of this Third Wall and “the question concerning Jerusalem’s boundaries on the eve of the Roman onslaught,” the statement said. “It seems that the new discovery in the Russian Compound is proof of the wall’s existence in this area.”

The Third Wall had been completed as part of preparations by the Jews for the Great Revolt against Rome that began in 66 CE and ended in 70 CE when the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed, and the rout heralded the start of nearly two thousand years of exile.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Thousands join protest rally against settlement evacuation

Thousands of people attended a protest in the West Bank outpost of Amona on Thursday, calling on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to resist the High Court’s decision to evacuate the settlement by the end of the year, Yediot Aharonot.

The protest was attended by MKs from the Likud and Bayit Yehudi. 

“We’re going to fight for our home here, and they’re going to have to drag us from our homes,” said Avihai Boaron, headquarters chairperson of Fight for Amona. “If we find ourselves dealing with an evacuation, it won’t go over quietly.”

The protest rally took place as politicians from the right attempt to have the High Court postpone the evacuation. The illegal outposts are also seeking protection under the idea of “absentee property”—which would grant the State of Israel ownership over the property of those who fled Israel to enemy countries during the War of Independence—and the Resolution Bill—which aims to prevent the transfer of settlements to new locations. Both points are not considered legally sound.

“We are calling for a vote on the Resolution Bill,” said Boaron. “It’s the only thing that can save Amona and the settlement project at large. We are in a right-wing government, and it is up to ministers Shaked, Bennett, Lieberman and of course Prime Minister Netanyahu to bring about a solution for the settlements in Judea and Samaria.”

The Likud issued a statement in response to the rally. “Prime Minister Netanyahu is calmly and responsibly leading a concerted effort to find a solution to the problem of Amona and its derivatives together with the minister of defence, minister of justice and attorney general. It is unfortunate that some people cannot handle the pressure, so that instead of joining forces as part of a real effort, they would rather charge ahead with a baseless and irresponsible political battering ram that only hurts Amona and the settlement project in general.”

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot

Friday, October 21, 2016
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