UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Sunday, January 5 2013:
*Soldiers of the Kfir Brigade averted what could have been a major terrorist incident early this morning when they intercepted a Palestinian terror squad making its way through the Gush Etzion area toward the Jewish community of Migdal Oz. Four terrorists were captured–all of whom were armed with knives and IEDs.
*If you can believe this, and your humble servant cannot, 5 of the Palestinian terrorist murderers who were released last week are slated to receive monthly stipends from Israel’s Welfare Ministry–because they are residents of the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
*It appears that the John Kerry parade hit a bump in the road yesterday when “hard discussions” were held in Ramallah yesterday with Mahmoud Abbas. According to Palestinian officials who were present, Kerry affirmed that “Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state” is the American position. The same officials said that the ensuing atmosphere was “difficult” with Abbas’ right hand man Yasser Abed Rabbo declaring afterward that there is “no progress in the talks.”
Benjamin Netanyahu used his Sunday cabinet meeting today to disingenuously pat himself on the back for the accomplishments of his Coalition during the past year. According to Netanyahu, these were the highlights:
—the country experienced the lowest number of terror victims in a decade
—the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.5%
—infiltration into Israel has completely stopped
Why was this recap disingenuous?
There is more terrorism than ever directed against the residents of Judea and Samaria. For the last two years, israelstreet has reported on the hundreds of “rock” and Molotov cocktail attacks that take place every week. In the last six months, the terrorists have increasingly turned to IEDs and other weapons.
The unemployment rate has dropped mainly because people who have been laid off have stopped looking for jobs. There have been increasing layoffs in many sectors. Young people in particular are having a difficult time finding a job.
Infiltration continues taking place into Israel on a massive scale. While it is true that the number of infiltrators from Africa has dried up, the number of illegal Palestinian infiltrators in the country has skyrocketed.
In the wake of the attempted Bat Yam bus bombing (in which the Palestinian terrorists breached the border fence south of Hebron), an IDF spokesman announced this morning that there are now an estimated 80,000 illegal Palestinians in Israel–and that 6,000 cross the border fence every month.
The IDF spokesman went on to say that there are numerous places where the border is “penetrable”, but because of lack of funds and legal disputes, there is nothing that the IDF can do about it.
The other problem facing the IDF is the Israeli judicial system. Lieutenant Colonel Eli Jeno with the Givati Brigade said that “when an infiltrator is caught for the first or second time, he is released shortly thereafter; even if he is caught a third time, the penalties are hardly deterring, if at all.”