UPDATES 7 pm Israel time Sunday:
*Coalition talks for a new Israeli government have begun in earnest today. In a surprising move, Netanyahu’s chief negotiator, Yitzhak Molcho, has resigned in order to not give the appearance of a conflict of interest between his role as “coalition negotiator” and “Palestinian peace negotiator”. As many Likudniks have pointed out, there have been no Palestinians for anyone to negotiate with for the last four years.
*It’s Super Bowl Sunday in the United States and not without Israeli connections. Football fans who read this blog should pay close attention to the SodaStream (an Israeli company) commercials that appear as well as the GoDaddy commercial with famed Israeli model Bar Rafaeli in the first quarter. Pardon your humble servant’s bias, but with all of my friends and family in northern California, Israel, and elsewhere, I say: “Go 49ers!”
Readers of the israelstreet breaking news ticker in the right hand column will notice that the last 24 hours have been particularly violent around Shechem (Nablus). In one incident, IDF forces took down an illegal Palestinian “outpost”, and in another there has been Palestinian rioting this afternoon near Yitzhar 10 km south of Shechem.
In recent months, the violence has been growing progressively worse. This has been at least partially due to the IDF removing checkpoints in the area and loosening travel restrictions throughout Samaria.
It is in this context that your humble servant read the following news article from the Palestinian news agency Ma’an with incredulity today:
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Sunday reopened several roads in Nablus which had been closed for 13 years, the governor of the northern West Bank district said. Jibril al-Bakri told Ma’an that his office in Nablus worked extensively with the Israelis to have the roads reopened, after being closed since the beginning of the second intifada. The roads connect the Nablus villages of Awarta, Yanun, Aqraba and surrounding areas, and will give Palestinians quick access to over 13,000 dunams of land.
Quick access to over 13,000 dunams of land? What this idiotic decision of the IDF does is give Palestinian terrorists quick access to thousands of Jewish community members around Shechem.
We can now expect “rock” assaults on a grand scale–and much worse. You may remember that the two terrorists who literally butchered the Fogel family came from Awarta–and the townspeople of Awarta actively conspired to hide those terrorists and their weapons.
Your humble servant simply cannot understand what the IDF thinks it gains from such idiotic decisions.
A few lines of favorable press in the international media? You won’t read one word about the removal of the checkpoints anywhere.
Less terrorism emanating from the area? You’ve got to be kidding. Every time a checkpoint is taken down, more Israelis are wounded or killed.
Decreased IDF presence in the region? Just the opposite will happen. The increased terrorism will force more IDF troops into the area.
This is just one more case of political correctness run amok.
And where did the decision to remove the checkpoints come from? The IDF COGAT unit–which does nothing except endanger the lives of every Israeli with every decision that it makes (click here for a previous israelstreet blog “The COGAT Unit: An Anachronism and a Disgrace).
A daily feature of this blog is the recognition of those of you who support Israel by donating to this website. Each month, your humble servant (or his son) places each name on this wall of support into the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Today we welcome 4 new flags on our wall: Denzel of Dublin, Ireland; Yuko of Osaka, Japan; Josiah T of Auckland, New Zealand; and Yaron L. of Herzliya, Israel.
To have your own Israeli flag, simply follow two steps:
Step 2: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
What you want on your flag: