UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Tuesday, November 11 2014:
—>It has been a sad day in Israel with the funerals of the two Israelis who were stabbed to death yesterday by Palestinian terrorists.
This morning, 25-year-old Dalia Lemkus was buried in the Jewish community of Tekoa where she lived. She was stabbed in the neck at exactly the same spot near Alon Shvut where she had been stabbed back in 2006–and exactly the same spot from which the three Israeli teenaged boys were kidnapped this summer.
Dalia’s father spoke these defiant words at her funeral:
“There is one thing the terrorist did not understand. His heinous act of murder will not succeed in breaking our stance and the stance of Israel. He murdered you because you were a Jewish woman living in the land of Israel. Here at your grave you connect all of us to this holy land.”
And so Dalia Lemkus does just that. Even in death, she connects us to Judea and Samaria–the holy land of Israel.
Sgt. Almog Shiloni, who was stabbed to death near a Tel Aviv train station yesterday, was buried in the military cemetery on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem this afternoon. More than a thousand people attended his funeral.
Almog’s twin brother Shahar offered these words about an event three weeks ago:
“We met at home for Shabbat and you brought a lonely soldier. It was so typical of you to bring someone who had nothing else to do, nowhere to go and nowhere to eat, and so you brought him to our home. Why? Because you are a person who looks out for others, worries about everyone, but you didn’t take care of yourself.”
A proud son and daughter of Israel–both tragically taken from us in the same day.
—>The murders of Dalia Lemkus and Almog Shiloni bring to six the number of Israelis who have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists in the last month. During the same time, more than 100 Israelis have been wounded.
—>PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas continued his rabid incitement from Ramallah today with a speech that accused Israel of trying to ignite a worldwide religious war, and further encouraged Palestinians to riot.
Abbas called the terrorists who are rioting on the Temple Mount “heroes” and went on to say that “Israelis think they can turn back history, to impose a reality, and to divide the al-Aqsa Mosque as they divided the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.” Abbas concluded by saying that every inch of territory captured by Israel in 1967 must be returned and is “not up for debate.”
Turn back history? The Ibrahimi Mosque? All the Palestinians do is try to invent a history for themselves by stealing Jewish history. Abbas’ Ibrahimi Mosque was the revered Jewish Cave of the Patriarchs for 2000 years before Islam reared its ugly head in the land of Israel.
—>In the last few days, it has been revealed that the IDF is drastically reducing its forces–at a time when Israel needs its defense forces more than ever.
*The number of Israeli reserves has been radically reduced down to what is now an almost negligible safety margin. What reserves are left to offer support to active duty soldiers are having their training even further reduced from the already low levels.
*Except for soldiers in combat units, new conscripts to the IDF will now serve 32 months instead of 36. In other words, IDF support units are being eroded.
*1800 career officers and NCOs have just been discharged. Another 2700 will be discharged in the coming months.
As your humble servant predicted back in August, it hasn’t taken long.
Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas, the most outburst of which ended about 80 days ago, shows every sign of resuming full-bore.
1. The so-called Israel “security establishment” issued warnings today that an outbreak of Hamas missile fire could be imminent. The assessment is that Hamas in Gaza is eager to assert itself into the intifada raging in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.
2. The IDF announced this morning that Iron Dome systems have been relocated to “sensitive” areas in the South. In other words, they have been moved back to Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheva, the Gaza border, and military and security targets in between.
3. The degree of reconciliation between Fatah (PLO) and Hamas has devolved from slim to nonexistent. Last week, explosions in Gaza targeted the homes of senior PLO officials. Two days ago, a celebration on the anniversary of PLO founder Yassir Arafat’s death was canceled in Gaza. Yesterday, Mahmoud Abbas blasted Hamas for the explosions and the cancellation.
4. All talk of the PLO taking over Border Crossings into Egypt and Israel–and even asserting sovereignty over Gaza–is dead.
5. In fact, not only did Hamas not achieve most of its objectives in the recent outburst of war, its situation today is worse than it was 80 days ago. This is primarily because of the systematic efforts of Egypt to close off Gaza once and for all with a 3-5 km buffer zone and possibly even a moat.
In sum, a new outburst of war with Hamas may not happen today or tomorrow–but it is not long in coming.