UPDATES 9 am Israel time, Wednesday, November 27 2013:
**Chanukah begins tonight at sundown in Israel. The first candle will be lit in Jerusalem at around 4:30 pm.
Bakeries across the country this morning are full of sufganiyot, jelly-filled doughnuts that are one of the two staples of Chanukah–the other being latkes–potato pancakes. To all of you who celebrate the holiday: Happy Chanukah!!
**All of Israel mourns today the loss of Arik Einstein, perhaps the most popular singer and songwriter in Israeli history who died last night at a Tel Aviv hospital at aged 74 of a ruptured aortic aneurysm.
PM Netanyahu summed up Einstein’s importance in this simple sentence last night: “His songs were Israel’s soundtrack.” Radio and TV music stations around the country are playing nothing but “Arik’s” songs today.
**Yesterday was the hottest November day in Israel since meteorological records began being kept in the country 65 years ago. In fact, the entire month of November has been distinctly “unseasonal”; rainfall amounts are less than 30% of normal.
**Good news yesterday on the diplomatic front as Canada–as always– has taken a principled stand on the Iranian issue–stating that it will maintain its own sanctions on Tehran until the Iranians prove that they are actually following the agreement (whatever such agreement actually is–yesterday the Iranians repeated the accusation that President Obama published an incorrect “draft” version of the agreement).
Speaking for the Canadians, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird declared: “Iran has not earned the benefit of the doubt.”
**More good news on the energy front: a new field of natural gas has been discovered adjacent to the Tamar field off the Israel Coast. Named “Tamar Southwest”, the field contains an estimated 285 billion cu meters of natural gas at a depth of 4,855 meters.
**Just when it seemed like all was going well for Hezbollah in Syria, there have been reports during the last week of hundreds of Hezbollah dead. In confirmation, Syrian rebel groups have uploaded hundreds of gruesome photos of “stacks” of dead Hezbollah fighters–most of whom have been decapitated.
Headless bodies being returned to Lebanon have added to a groundswell of Lebanese demands that Hezbollah withdraw, and the closure of the Mitzna transition zone between Lebanon and Syria yesterday has fueled reports that Hezbollah is staging an extensive retreat from Syria.
All your humble servant has to say is “the more dead Hezbollah terrorists the better.”
The sheer dearth of international reportage concerning Palestinian terrorism directed against Israelis is nauseatingly appalling. Rarely if ever is there a news report about what is taking place on the Gaza border with Israel nor are there any reports concerning the endless terrorist attacks directed against Israelis in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.
There is no way around the fact that most of the world, at best, doesn’t care that Israelis are targeted 24 hours a day–and, at worst, feels that Israelis are fair game for terrorists.
Yesterday was no exception.
Southern Israeli residents along the Gaza border were sent running to their bomb shelters last evening by incoming rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. Also on border, near Kibbutz Kfar Aza, a Palestinian terrorist infiltrator from Gaza armed with grenades was captured by the IDF.
Commenting on the infiltration attempt, Alon Shuster, the head of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council said: “an armed terrorist infiltrated today with grenades and fortunately was caught, but infiltration attempts continue without interruption.”
And that was just along the Gaza border.
As was reported on the israelstreet breaking news ticker yesterday, there were 27 separate “rock” throwing terror attacks on Israelis in Jeruslaem, Judea, and Samaria between 8 am and 5 pm alone.
Israelis were traumatized in such locations as Hawara, Ofra, and Beit Romano in Hebron. On the Mt. of Olives, at least one woman was wounded badly enough to be taken to Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus by paramedics from MADA.
And this does not take into account the Molotov cocktails that hit Israeli worshipers and IDF troops in various locations. At the Tomb of Rachel just outside of Bethlehem, two IEDs were thrown by Palestinian terrorists.
The day was capped off late last evening when a major terror attack was averted. An explosives-laden car carrying two heavily armed Salafi Jihadist Palestinian terrorists was intercepted by a Shin Bet counter-terrorism unit near Yatta just outside of Hebron. In the ensuing firefight, both terrorists were killed. Shortly thereafter, another armed terrorist was engaged by the same unit. He too was killed.
And virtually no word in the international media about any of these events.