UPDATES 6 pm Israel time Monday:
*Twelve wanted Palestinian terrorists have been arrested in various locations throughout Judea and Samaria today, mainly in the Palestinian settlements around Hebron.
*Three Palestinian terrorists were captured two hours ago as they were lighting Molotov cocktails to throw at Israeli security personnel.
*The Netanyahu “security cabinet” has just unanimously and disastrously approved a three billion shekel ($840 million) cut in next year’s defense budget. Certainly it is important to try to resolve Israel’s budget deficit, but cutting defense expenditures when Israel is besieged on virtually every border seems penny-wise and pound-foolish.
*Arab students at Tel Aviv University who were out demonstrating against the so-called “Nakba” (catastrophe of modern Israel’s founding in 1948) this morning were met by a contingent of counter-protesters led by the Zionist student organization Im Tirzu. Police finally were called in to keep the two sides apart.
Your humble servant has nothing but applause for the members of Im Tirzu–thank goodness for their good work on Israeli campuses!
The absolute absurdity of Netanyahu government housing policy in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria was never more obvious than this afternoon when the following was revealed:
First, in a remarkable interview, previous Housing Minister Ariel Atias reported that PM Netanyahu had privately ordered him four years ago to freeze all construction in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. According to Arias, the only exceptions that were made were in the case of responses to Palestinian attacks and other “special” circumstances.
In short, the Netanyahu government has covertly frozen the construction of Jewish homes, schools, and hospitals throughout the area.
Secondly, it has just been announced that 1500 residential units approved long ago for the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of northeastern Jerusalem have now been delayed because “political sensitivity.”
Ramat Shlomo, by the way, is a thriving neighborhood of some 20,000 ultra-orthodox Jews.
In short, the Netanyahu government has decided that Jewish homes in Jerusalem cannot now be built because of international pressure.
Third, in a mind-boggling decision announced today, COGAT has revealed that a new Palestinian city is being planned in Area C in the Jordan Valley near Jericho that will accommodate tens of thousands of Palestinian settlers.
In short, the Netanyahu government will not build a home for an Israeli Jew in Area C, but Israel is planning to build a city for tens of thousands of Palestinians in Area C.
If your humble servant has asked this question once in the last year, he has asked it one hundred times: what in the world has happened to Benjamin Netanyahu?
I leave it for you, dear reader, to answer that question.