UPDATES 6 pm Israeli time Monday:
**Israeli security personnel have been under attack all day–especially in areas around Hebron such as the Azzun Junction. This morning, newly elected Knesset member Ayelet Shaked laid the blame for the riots at the door of the Netanyahu government: “The leaders of the riots are the terrorists who were released in the Gilad Shalit deal. Those veteran terrorists are now violating the terms of their parole by inciting a new generation of terrorists to attack Israelis.”
**Israeli forces blocked Route 60 between Hebron and Gush Etzion today in anticipation of Arafat Jaradat’s funeral. MK Orit Struck of the Jewish Home party sharply criticized the closure saying: “The decision to block the road is a surrender to terrorism. The Defense Minister is supposed to ensure that the quality of life of Israeli citizens of Judea and Samaria will not be harmed by Palestinian rioters–not that Palestinian rioters will have an easier time.”
**The Academy Awards were announced last night and much to the joy of most Israelis, the two “Israel-related” documentaries–“The Gatekeepers” and “Five Broken Cameras”– lost. In regard to “Five Cameras”, an organization of reserve officers and soldiers openly campaigned against the film. The organization noted on its Facebook page yesterday: “We are committed to maintaining the reputation of the army in public and in the media. We are against the film Five Broken Cameras which is part of the incitement against the IDF in Israeli cinema.”
**Three days from now Benjamin Netanyahu’s initial time limit to form a coalition government expires–though he can (and undoubedly will) ask for a two week extension. At the moment, Netanyahu still has fewer than 40 of the 61 seats he needs to make a government. His problem continues to be the Lapid-Bennett “coalition” of 31 seats which is continuing to insist upon a requirement that all 18 year olds in Israel serve in the IDF or national service.
The Arrow 3 surface to air missile defense system (Hetz-3 in Hebrew) was successfully tested for the first time in Israel yesterday. Its development is the result of a collaboration of the Israel Ministry of Defense and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. It was primarily developed in Israel.
The Arrow 3 is thought to be the most advanced missile interceptor in the world, and its perfomance yesterday, according to Israel Defense official Yair Ramati, left the American observers “speechless.”
As most of you dear readers know, Israel employs a layered missile defense shield with the Arrow 2, Magic Wand (also known as David’s Sling), and the Iron Dome all designed to take care of the threats emanating from Hamas, Hezbollah, and others.
Now, the Arrow 3 has been added to the Israeli arsenal. You can watch a fascinating video description of the Arrow 3 by clicking here.
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