8 Shots Heard ‘Round the World

Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI condemns the assassination attempt on the life of former President Donald J. Trump that took place at a campaign rally in Butler, PA on Saturday, July 13.

We wish President Trump a continued recovery and hear that he has returned to his daily routine at least as far as making his tee time yesterday. We pray that he will be fully able to return to all his activities. Our thoughts are with the family of Corey Comperatore who, by protecting his family, was killed in Saturday’s dark incident along with those injured and shattered from this senseless act.

Though it’s not our intention take the focus away from the victims of the weekend’s traumatic shooting, we sincerely pray that the left and right of Klal Yisrael will use this now historic moment to not only reflect on their true intentions, but cease the increasing intensity of harmful lies, vicious verbal attacks and false rhetoric intended to destroy political opponents. For many years, emotions in Israel, sometimes volatile, have reached a breaking point. Enough is enough. Power trips need to cease and the good of the country must be the primary focus. The temperature needs to be turned down before Israeli society deteriorates and people get hurt, including the leader of the only Democratic and peaceful nation in the Middle East, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As Israel continues to fight a major war for the survival of the country, the unconscionable attack witnessed on Saturday in Butler, PA serves as a resounding wake-up call: Unity, a Whole Israel, and Sovereignty must be the shared goals. Anything less is unacceptable.

What will Israeli MK’s and lawmakers do? Read more:
After attempt on Trump, cabinet watches video of alleged incitement against Netanyahu by Times of Israel Staff and Sam Sokol
In 2-hour debate after the cabinet secretary shows clips, several ministers warn that incitement against the Prime Minister is even worse than in the US, blame attorney general, law enforcement for failing to act.

Top Priority Demolition in Binyamin

Civil Administration officers and security forces came early Monday morning to demolish an illegally built gas station in Hizma in the Binyamin region.

Security sources noted that the gas station has been used for cover for acts terror and rock attacks against Israeli vehicles traveling on Route 437 and nearby roads. In addition, the site’s very nature presented a security threat, and therefore, the Civil Administration classified it as a top-priority location for enforcement.

The Civil Administration emphasized that “any illegal structure that is used for actions that undermine the stability in Judea and Samaria or present a security threat will be on the top of the list for enforcement.”

Civil Administration demolishes illegal gas station in Binyamin region by Israel National News, July 15, 2024

A Shameful Discussion

The Knesset Constitution Committee on Monday discussed the public defense bill, during which bereaved families expressed outrage over the fact that the State of Israel will fund the October 7th terrorists’ legal defense.

“You dance on the blood of our soldiers who fell because of the Nukhba terrorists. This isn’t stupidity, this is deliberate evil against our people. My daughter was murdered, and I have to fund legal representation for those who murdered her?” said Galia Hoshen, whose daughter Hadar, was murdered at the Nova Festival.

It should be obvious to the powers that be that Israel’s law to fund terrorists’ legal defense needs to be changed. October 7 was the last straw and Israeli lawmakers should use this horrific tragedy to drive home the point that no funding will be given. It’s not rocket science and no discussion or debate is needed on this either.

Bereaved father shouts: ‘The victims should fund the terrorist’s defense?’ by Hezki Baruch/Israel National News, July 15, 2024

Terrorism in the North: A Prelude to War?

An Israeli was critically injured today by a UAV strike in Kibbutz Kabri in the western Galilee. The report of the injury comes against the backdrop of incessant warning sirens activated across the north of Israel.

Hezbollah has taken responsibility for the attack.

The IDF reported that “Following the sirens that sounded in the Western Galilee area in the past hour, several UAVs were identified crossing from Lebanon into Israeli territory, and they fell in the Western Galilee area.”

Yesterday, it was cleared for publication that Noa and Nir Baranes, a couple from Kibbutz Ortal in the northern Golan Heights, had been killed by a direct rocket strike on their vehicle. They left behind three children, aged 13, 16, and 18.

28 Israelis have been killed by Hezbollah fire in the north since the beginning of the war, including 11 civilians and 17 soldiers. Well over 200 rockets have been fired at Northern Israel by Hezbollah in this past week alone.

With terrorist hostilities in the north increasing, Israel faces tough days and weeks ahead. Both the public and the country’s defense forces must be prepared for what could be a long and difficult fight for Israel’s survival. Am Yisrael must stand united against this massively armed evil Islamic Republic of Iran proxy!

Sirens in the North: Israeli critically injured in UAV strike by Uzi Baruch/Israel National News, July 11, 2024

Loss of Values

Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich have both blasted the Israel Courts Administration over its request for funding for legal representation for captured combatants suspected of carrying out the October 7 atrocities in southern Israel.

Levin said in a statement to the press on Wednesday: “I stand by my decision made at the beginning of the war: The Justice Ministry will not finance [this]; the Public Defender’s Office will not represent the Nukhba terrorists.”

Smotrich made similar comments, noting that his ministry had received a request to find a source of funding for “the Nukhba terrorists who massacred, slaughtered, raped and murdered Israeli citizens on October 7,” describing the request as “insane.”

Where is the line drawn between what’s legally mandated or not when hundreds of terrorists willingly participated in the October 7 massacre? Should Israel really have to provide funds for this? Who is requesting a source of funding and have they lost their minds?

Justice and finance ministers refuse to fund legal defense for Hamas terrorists by Jeremy Sharon/Times of Israel, July 11, 2024

Finally, the Right Designation

The Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has unanimously approved a bill designating UNRWA as a terrorist organization.

The bill, initiated by Israel Beytenu MK Yulia Malinovsky, will be on the agenda for a first reading in the Knesset plenum most likely next week.

Malinovsky said: “UNRWA’s crimes on October 7th and the agency’s cooperation with terrorist organizations are unforgivable. An organization whose employees are social workers, doctors and teachers by day, and terrorists by night is a terrorist organization for all intents and purposes.”

This critical issue has come a very long way to where it should be – exposed! We are pleased to see Israel’s government take the right actions to hold UNRWA accountable. By doing so we trust that it will keep Israel a bit safer.

Knesset Committee Unanimously Approves Bill Declaring UNRWA a Terror Organization by Hana Levi Julian/Jewish Press, July 9, 2024

Just a Report or Reason to be Concerned?

Recent developments suggest Hamas may be softening its stance on ceasefire negotiations with Israel. This is potentially due to the extensive damage inflicted on Gaza during Israel’s nine-month offensive, and the increased pounding by the IDF of the two southern cities of Rafah and Khan Younis, where the Gazan Hamas leadership is hiding underground, most notably Yahya Sinwar. This shift in position has been noted by officials in both the Middle East and the United States, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

In a significant change, Hamas appears to have dropped its long-held demand for Israel to commit to ending the war as part of any ceasefire agreement. This move has sparked renewed optimism for progress in internationally mediated talks.

While reports state that Hamas might be softening its terms, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich warned Monday that the current proposal for a hostage deal would constitute “a defeat and humiliation for Israel and a victory for Sinwar.” He warned it “will sentence to death 90 hostages who are not part of the deal, and it will result in thousands of murdered people who will die in the next massacre by Sinwar and Hamas.”

Addressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Smotrich said, “Mr. Prime Minister, this is not the complete victory [you promised]. It is the complete failure. We will not be part of a deal to surrender to Hamas.”

Meanwhile. let’s not jump the gun. Nothing is final or set in stone yet but if it is true that Hamas has grown war weary then it means Netanyahu’s military strategy is working. If that’s the case, why stop now?

AP: Sinwar Softened his Demands in Response to IDF Pounding by David Israel/Jewish Press, July 8, 2024

Smotrich: Hostage deal would mean defeat for Israel, victory for Sinwar by Israel National News, July 8, 2024


Another Green Light Thwarts PA State

The Israeli government has legalized three additional communities in Judea and Samaria, days after it recognized five other towns.

Formally recognized are: Mahane Gadi, a town of 37 families near the existing community of Masu’a in the Jordan Valley, Givat Hanan outside of Sussia in the Hebron Hills area of Judea, and Kedem Arava, near Beit HaArava just north of the Dead Sea.

Last week MK Bezalel Smotrich hailed the upcoming housing approvals and recognition of additional communities as a death knell for Palestinian statehood. He said, “Thank God, we are building and developing the settlements and thwarting the danger of a Palestinian state.”

‘Thwarting Palestinian Statehood’ – Israel recognizes 3 new towns in Judea and Samaria, green lights thousands of new homes by David Rosenberg/World Israel News, July 5, 2024

Smotrich: I Hear You

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich met last week with the heads of the local authorities of the Seam Zone, the narrow area between the 1949 Armistice line and the Judea and Samaria security barrier.

During the meeting, Smotrich told the heads that he is committed to increasing the security of the communities and residents: “The Israeli perception of security must undergo a fundamental change regarding Gaza, Judea and Samaria, the north and also the Seam Zone,” said Smotrich.

Smotrich: The security concept must change, Tulkarm must turn into rubble by Hezki Baruch/Israel National News, July 4, 2024

Netanyahu: We are Inspired by the Spirit of Victory

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement on Tuesday reiterating that Operation Swords of Iron will not end until all of Israel’s objectives are achieved: eliminating Hamas as a governing and military entity; returning all the kidnapped hostages, both living and deceased; and ensuring Gaza can never again pose a threat to the Jewish State.

The statement came in response to a New York Times report entitled “Israeli Generals, Low on Munitions, Want a Truce in Gaza” that cited “anonymous sources” claiming Israel is prepared to end the war before achieving all its objectives due to shortages in ammunition, spare parts and personnel.

“I do not know who these anonymous sources are, but I am here to make it unequivocally clear: This will not happen. The war will end once Israel achieves all of its objectives, including the destruction of Hamas and the release of all of our hostages. The Government directed the IDF to achieve these war objectives and the IDF has all the means to achieve them. We will not capitulate to the winds of defeatism, neither in The New York Times nor anywhere else. We are inspired by the spirit of victory.” Netanyahu said a few hours after the report was published.

Netanyahu Rebuts NYT Report: War Won’t End Until All Objectives Achieved by Hana Levi Julian/Jewish Press, July 2, 2024

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