UPDATES 8 am Israel time, Sunday, June 1 2014:
**Just after midnight last night, a missile or missiles were launched out of Gaza by Palestinian terrorists at the Eshkol region of southern Israel. No physical injuries have been reported, but the emotional trauma experienced by the children, women, and men who had to run from their beds to their bomb shelters is incalculable.
As you will note in the column on the right hand side of this page, this brings to 3,116 the number of rockets and mortars that have been fired at southern Israel in the last 861 days–or 3.61 missiles and mortars per day.
Yesterday, incoming missile sirens were also sounded on the Golan Heights and missile impact explosions were heard by residents. However, this was followed by the usual sequence of an IDF spokesman claiming it was a false alarm, only to be followed in turn by reports of IDF troops out searching for where the missiles exploded.
**The PLO-Fatah reconciliation fest continues apace with final decisions being made as to which terrorist will be the minister of what ministry. One of the major sticking points has been the PLO desire to replace the Department of Prisoner Affairs with a Special Commission for Prisoner Affairs–as if the change will make any difference in the corrupt use of funds whatsoever.
The current Deputy Minister of Prisoner Affairs, Ziad Abu Ein, revealed yesterday that the PLO currently pays more than 10,000,000 million shekels a month to former prisoners (read “terrorists”) who now hold high positions in the PLO and another 27,000,000 shekels ($7,826,086) per month to “prisoners” currently in Israeli prisons.
Meanwhile, the reconciliation fest is being played out against the backdrop of an ongoing purge by Mahmoud Abbas against the supporters of his chief rival, Mohammed Dahlan. As was already reported on israelstreet, Dahlan was sentenced to prison in absentia in a secret trial in Ramallah in April. Yesterday, Abbas fired six more ministers who are Dahlan supporters.
The irony of Pope Francis’s recent visit to Bethlehem during which he belabored and bewailed supposed Israeli persecution against Palestinians but not actual Muslim persecution of Christians was put into even sharper relief today with the Christian community release of a new video of Muslim violence against Christians, and more statistics concerning the ever dwindling number of Christians in the city.
It turns out that three weeks before the Pope arrived there was vicious Muslim attack against Christians just outside of Bethlehem at El-Khader (St. George). El-Khader, as you may not know, is the site of unique church-mosque combination.
The video shows bleeding and wounded Christians being assaulted by hundreds of Muslims wielding rocks, broken bottles, and knives. Eventually the Christians sought refuge inside the El-Khader Church-Mosque, and the video shows Christian children and their mothers crying and screaming for their husbands to come inside with them.
In another incident which took place the day after Francis left, arsonists set a fire inside the “Cave” within the Church of the Nativity in an attack that was completely ignored Francis upon his return to Rome. (By the way, your humble servant terms this attack “arson” because despite the fact that the priests in the Church called the fire an “accident”, even the Palestinian police termed the attack “arson”).
With events like the above in mind, the following facts (from the Jerusalem Institute for Justice yesterday) come as no surprise:
—From 1995 until 2000, following the turnover of Bethlehem to the PLO in the Oslo Accords, 300 Christians left the city every year.
—During the period from 2001 until today–a period that encompassed the 2nd intifada and the Hamas takeover of the municipal government in 2006–8000 more Christians have left.
–In 1946, 80% of Bethlehem’s population were Christians. Today, only 13% of its population of 25,266 people are.
In other words, there are only about 3,284 Christians left in Bethlehem.
And, by the way, no Jews–despite its historical importance as a Jewish city known as the place where Jacob’s wife Rachel died during childbirth (her son Benjamin lived), where Naomi and Ruth lived, and where Samuel anointed King David.
O little Muslim town of Bethlehem . . .