22 Tammuz 5777
16 July 2017
The News on the Street in Israel
Palestinian terror over the last 48 hours . . .
There were more than 60 Palestinian terror attacks between Thursday night and last night.
*A wife, husband, and their baby were wounded by a Molotov cocktail thrown by a Palestinian terrorist that struck their vehicle in Siloam.
*A Brazilian tourist was wounded when his car was hit by bullets fired by Palestinian terrorists between Ateret and Umm Safa.
*A Border policewoman was wounded in the eye by a projectile thrown by a Palestinian terrorist beside the Lions’ Gate where the two Border Policemen were murdered.
*A soldier was wounded by “rocks” thrown by Palestinian terrorists at Nabi Saleh.
*An Israeli family was treated for trauma after Palestinian terrorists attacked their car with “rocks” at the Tapuach Junction.
*An IDF patrol was struck by two IEDs thrown by Palestinian terrorists near the North Efrat Junction in Gush Etzion.
*Our security forces were attacked by Palestinian terrorists throwing “rocks” and Molotov firebombs just outside of Qalqilya, at Abu Dis, at Tekoa, in Shuafat, at Shechem, in A-Ram, at Ma’aleh Shomron, and on the Ma’aleh Adumim-Jerusalem road, just to name a few locations.
*Following two shooting incidents, one at a vehicle near Ateret and the other at an IDF pillbox beside Nabi Saleh, the Border Police and IDF forces tracked down the terrorist responsible in Nabi Saleh last night. When he drew a gun, he was shot and killed.
A final word about the Druze Border policemen who were murdered on Thursday . . .
The murders of Ha’il Satawi and Kamil Shnaan have made Israelis once again realize the debt we owe to the Druze community, for it is largely members of that community who patrol eastern Jerusalem, the Old City, and many other places of danger. Druze border policemen protect us because it has long been the policy of the security establishment to put Arabic-speaking Israelis in areas where Arabs are likely to be encountered, and the Druze are the first to volunteer for the Jerusalem assignment.
Who can forget the heroic actions of Israeli Border Police Chief Inspector Jedan Assad, a Druze from Beit Jann who tried to protect Israeli civilians in Jerusalem from a bulldozer attack almost three years ago and was killed. Or the Druze police officer who tried to stop the horrific attack in the Har Nof synagogue in 2014–only to be killed himself?
It is not surprising that we see many Druze flags flying around Israel this week–in solidarity with our Druze comrades.
Anti-corruption demonstrations across the country . . .
Following the endless reports on Israeli television about possible corruption in the submarine affair, the Bezeq affair, the cigars affair, the pizza affair, the garden furniture affair, the pink champagne affair, the Yedioth Aharonot affair, and a hundred other “affairs”, there were small demonstrations last night (totaling about 3000 people) in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Hadera, Ness Ziona, Nahariya, Be’er Sheva, Kiryat Gat, Afula, Rosh Pina, and here in Ashdod. The protests were organized by the New Israel Fund–which has as its main goal the bringing down of the Netanyahu government.
In what can only be described as a moment of supreme irony, the newly elected head of the Labor Party, “Mr. Clean” Avi Gabbay led the protest outside the Attorney General’s home in Petah Tikva.
Why was it ironical? Because the more we know about Avi Gabbay, the less “Mr. Clean” he becomes. For instance, last night it was reported that Gabbay spent some time back in 2005 under house arrest while being questioned by police in relationship to a 50,000,000 shekel payment he received from Bezeq after he left the Finance Ministry–where he was supposed to be dealing with issues related to Bezeq and other media. Of course, Gabbay left the Finance Ministry and become CEO of Bezeq where he had a salary of between one and two million shekels per year.
In this context his words last night rang hollow: “I came here this evening to strengthen good Israelis who vote for all parties and come here every week, to develop hope and other places in Israel, to say clearly that they are not willing to accept more corruption. No corruption in government, no personal corruption, and no corruption hiding behind laundered procedures.”
Sure thing Avi.
The Shocking Reality of the Temple Mount
If there is any minuscule silver lining to the terror attack on the Temple Mount on Thursday, it is that it has laid bare for Israelis to see just how much sovereignty we have relinquished over what is our holiest place.
You may recall, dear reader, that in previous blogs I have written endlessly about the egregious discrimination exercised against Jews who want to go to the Temple Mount. Before we get to the aforementioned governmental actions, allow your humble servant to describe the “gate” situation before Thursday.
There are 17 gates to the Temple Mount. 6 of them are permanently closed. 1 of them, the Mughrabi Gate, is only used by “non-Muslims”—in fact, it is the only one we can use. Technically, the Muslims could also use the Mughrabi Gate if they wanted.
To go to the Mount through the Mughrabi Gate, Israeli Jews must first pass through a visual check and an identification check. A guard will take our teudat zeut (Israeli ID card) and run it through a computer search to find out if there is some reason that can be used to stop us from going up.
If we pass these checks, we are permitted to go up the ramp to the next checkpoint. Here we must pass through a magnetometer, and whatever we are holding in our hands must also be checked (much like what happens in an airport).
When we pass through this checkpoint, we then are instructed to sit down in a waiting area–where our clothes are checked to make sure they will not be offensive to Muslims on the Mount.
After all of this, we are then permitted to ascend the rest of the way–only to get the once over from the Islamic Wakf “policemen” on the Mount itself.
What Israelis found out yesterday about the other 10 gates, however, is shocking. These are the gates that the Muslims use to go to the Mount.
What has been the security process for these gates up until now?
As a Muslim walks through the gate, he or she is visually checked to see if anything looks suspicious.
And that’s it.
There has been no identification check, no magnetometer check, no handheld items check, no clothing check . . . no other check of any kind.
Muslims have simply been allowed to walk through and thus could take any weapon such as a gun or a knife or who knows what up to the Mount.
It is simply startling.
Why are there no checks?
Prior to 2000, there were magnetometer checks. But after the so-called 2nd intifada started, they were removed. Why? Because the Jordanians demanded their removal.
Think about that for a moment. At a time when terror increased exponentially in Jerusalem and elsewhere, magnetometers which could be used to detect weapons were removed.
In 2014, the police recommended that magnetometers be placed at every gate. A successful “pilot program” followed, but the Netanyahu government ordered them removed, again after complaints from the Jordanians.
The police even suggested placing the magnetometers “a few meters” from the actual gates so that “they would be in an area under total Israeli control.” The idea was nixed.
But think about that for a minute. Our government did not, and does not, think of the Temple Mount as an area under total Israeli control.
In making the above recommendations in 2014, the police considered the pros and cons of reinstalling the magnetometers. On the “pro” side was that weapons could be detected. On the “con” side was that Muslims would be inconvenienced and thereby “tensions” would rise.
Can you believe this? Israeli Jews are made to wait for hours and go through multiple security checks, and we are worried about inconveniencing Muslims?
All of which brings us back to the current situation. Last night, the Security Cabinet voted to reinstall magnetometers at every gate to the Temple Mount, and video cameras in “discreet” area on the Mount (remember how the Jordanians objected to cameras a few years ago?).
However, you should not think that Israel has stopped kowtowing to the Jordanians.
We could see it again last night when Netanyahu disregarded the recommendation of the Israel police and decided to open the Mount to Muslim worshipers today. The police had asked for another day to search the Mount for weapons, but Netanyahu disagreed–after receiving a midnight phone call from Jordan’s King Abdullah demanding that the Mount be reopened to worshipers.