Two terror attacks were thwarted on Wednesday in the Binyamin region of the West Bank, the Jerusalem Post reports.
A car ramming attack was thwarted on Wednesday, at a gas station off of Highway 60, near Kochav Ya'akov in the Binyamin region of the West Bank, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said.
There were no reports of Israelis hurt in the incident and the suspect was shot and killed at the scene. According to initial reports, the suspected perpetrator targeted IDF soldiers in the vicinity.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan rebuffed on Wednesday the demand by the Joint List, Meretz and some MKs from the Zionist Union to establish a state commission to inquire into the deaths of a policeman and an Arab teacher during a demolition operation in the unrecognised Negev Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran last week.
Erdan pointed a finger at the Arab MKs for allegedly inciting, and explained why he was determined to say that it was a terrorist attack, the Jerusalem Post reports.
The plenum voted against establishing a commission, 43-22.
“In the video that was taken from the helicopter and from the police investigation it was clear that it was a terrorist attack, deliberate ramming,” Erdan said. “You could have seen that the jeep accelerates, turn sharply to the right and hits the policemen. Then, he turns again in order to escape but he stops when a police vehicle stops him.”
Eyewitnesses interviewed by The Jerusalem Post, however, said the vehicle accelerated only after shots were fired at it and the video appears to support their account. Umm al-Hiran residents say police shot dead the teacher, Yacoub Abu al-Kaeean, without justification and then framed him as a terrorist.
“I, as the public security minister, before all, completely back-up my troops that are out there,” Erdan stressed.
“We are talking here about an illegal settlement and a terrorist driver that should have not driven into the police forces.
Israel is advancing a plan to extend a high-speed rail line to include a Western Wall station, the transport ministry said on Wednesday, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) has ordered planning and feasibility studies for the project, a ministry spokeswoman told AFP.
Katz said in November that he wanted to extend a high-speed rail line currently being built between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to include a Western Wall station.
At the time, the Palestinian Authority denounced it as a “colonial project”.
The Western Wall is located in the ancient Old City in East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967 and later annexed in a move not recognised by the international community.
It is in an area at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the Western Wall located just below the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina.
The Western Wall is one of the last remnants of the Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
While Israel sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, the Palestinians view East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
Under the train plan, a tunnel would be dug up to 80 meters (262 feet) deep to connect the central station at the entrance to Jerusalem to the Western Wall station.
Two options are being studied, with one seeing the train arrive outside of the Old City near the Dung Gate, close to the Western Wall. The other could see the station built inside the Old City.Thursday, January 26, 2017