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Under Siege: What is the Plan for Defending Area C?

The Palestinian Authority held a ceremony on Sunday, planting some 2,000 olive trees on Israeli state land, in IDF Training Ground 203.

The event was filmed, photographed and publicized by Fatah – affiliated Radio Zeituna and on social media. Armed Palestinian Police officers were among those in attendance, and were filmed as they entered the IDF firing zone – despite the fact that are prohibited from entering Area C, the section of Judea and Samaria under Israeli jurisdiction pursuant to the Oslo Accords.

This event is one element of a large-scale project that has taken shape over the past several years, in which the Palestinian Authority has planted millions of trees as a means of illegally seizing control of thousands of dunams in Area C.

The Palestinian Authority’s “agricultural annexation” focuses on land adjacent to roadways, surrounding Jewish communities, as well as state land – particularly in locations that are of high strategic and political importance.

“The Palestinian Authority has joined the Tu B’Shvat celebrations with well-planned ‘agricultural conquest’ projects – and thus far, the State of Israel is fast asleep,” said a spokesperson for Regavim. “These projects are supported by massive European funding, and the targeted locations are chosen with care to serve a clear and publicly-declared purpose: changing the map, by creating facts on the ground – and all within spitting distance of Rosh HaAyin and Gush Dan.”

Source:
How the Palestinian Authority ‘celebrates’ Tu B’Shvat holiday, by Arutz Sheva Staff. Arutz Sheva, January 25, 2021

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Attempted Lynching in Samaria

An Israeli citizen who went out for a run in Samaria Monday afternoon was attacked near the village of Iraq Burin in the area of ​​Mount Gerizim. The citizen was beaten all over his body by four Arabs living in the area. He managed to escape and was hospitalized in non-critical condition.

Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi Dagan blamed the incompetence of the security forces for the attack and demanded a harsh response to what he called an attempted “lynching.”

“Only a month after the murder of Esther Horgan, who also just went out for a run near her home, a lynching attempt was again near the settlement. We will not accept this trend,” Dagan stated.

Source:
Israeli attacked by Arabs in Samaria, by Arutz Sheva Staff. Arutz Sheva, January 25, 2021

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The US Must Listen to Israel’s Concern About Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Threat

As the Obama administration negotiated the Iran nuclear agreement behind closed doors in 2015, a frequent argument employed by officials to dismiss Israeli critics of the process went as follows: “You don’t know what’s in the deal, so how can you already be objecting to it?”

The retort angered many in the Netanyahu government, who demanded involvement in crafting an accord they argued would ultimately impact them more than the US and the other negotiating powers who were situated thousands of miles away from the region.

Then along came President Donald J. Trump, who reversed course and pulled the US out of the horrendous Iran Deal.

Leaked comments indicate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is readying for battle over Biden’s insistence on rejoining the nuclear pact, even as Washington says it will hear Israeli concerns.

Netanyahu is a vociferous opponent of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, “JCPOA” and appears to prefer keeping re-imposed sanctions in place until the Iranians agree to completely dismantle their nuclear program. At the very least Israel wants to be part of the group coming back to the table to negotiate an improved deal that will address all of her concerns.

Biden and his aides don’t view Netanyahu’s strategy as realistic or productive. But in saying they will hear Israel out,, they appear to be offering Israel a chance to be heard at the start of negotiations.

Source:
US wants to hear out allies on Iran. Netanyahu girds for fight unless it listens, by Jacob Magid. Times of Israel, January 25, 2021

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Israel on Our Mind as America Gets New Administration

Americans For A Safe Israel has been watching – in disbelief – the US presidential election outcome on November 3, 2020 and its horrendous aftermath. This spewed a domino effect of something we have never experienced in a US election before. It has left us reeling and, frankly, traumatized.

With yesterday’s inauguration of Joseph R. Biden as America’s 46th President, we remain concerned for Israel on all fronts our mission advocates for: TRUTH – SECURITY – SAFETY – SOVEREIGNTY.

President Trump had a unique and out of the box approach to handling foreign affairs with Israel and never before has Israel had such a true friend in the White House.

We would like to see Biden’s administration recognize the critical importance of continuing and expanding on the path that President Trump paved for Israel – especially the US pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. It’s apparent that Biden is looking to get back into it in some form. Has Biden not heard that Iran is the #1 state sponsor of terror?

We will be watching very closely as events unfold and time progresses.

P.S. Truth be told, AFSI is not too worried about how Israel will get along as the new American political landscape develops. Israel is strong and resilient and can defend itself.

Source:
Netanyahu Preparing for Battle with Biden on Renewing Iran Deal, by David Israel. Jewish Press, January 21, 2021

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Twitter Account: U.S. Ambassador to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza

Change occurred after Trump Ambassador David Friedman relinquished account, but was swiftly reversed; spokesman says it was not indicative of policy shift.

What was the rush to change the name of this Twitter account? Biden is touted as having a 40 year friendship with Israel. It’s time to educate Mr. Biden on the truth about Israel.

But don’t worry, less than two hours after the name was first changed, the embassy account dropped West Bank and Gaza from its name after a flurry of criticism erupted.

Source:
US Embassy briefly includes West Bank and Gaza in Twitter handle, sparking storm, by Jacob Magid. Times of Israel, January 20, 2021

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Hunger Strikes Continue in Judea and Samaria

Samaria Regional Council chief Yossi Dagan passed out Tuesday during a hunger strike in Jerusalem.

Dagan, who joined a hunger strike last Wednesday as part of the protest demanding normalization of 46 fledgling communities in Judea and Samaria, collapsed at the protest tent erected in Jerusalem near the Prime Minister’s Office just before noon Tuesday.

MDA paramedics treated Dagan at the scene.

Last Wednesday, Itai Zar, a resident of the Samaria town of Havat Gilad, fainted at the protest tent during his hunger strike.

Source:
Samaria chief Yossi Dagan passes out during hunger strike ~Arutz Sheva Staff. Arutz Sheva, January 19, 2021

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Rockets Fired Into Ashdod Area

Two rockets were fired early Monday morning from the northern Gaza Strip into the sea in the Ashdod area, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit reported.

No siren was activated. There were no reports of physical injuries or damages.

The IDF said in a statement that “two launches were identified from the northern Gaza Strip towards the coastal area in the Ashdod region which did not trigger a siren.”

In response to the rocket fire, IDF fighter jets attacked Hamas’ tunnel-digging infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

Source:
Two rockets fired from Gaza towards the sea, by Eldad Benari. Arutz Sheva, January 18, 2021

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“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism” ~Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. He was also an outspoken advocate on behalf of Israel’s security and against anti- Semitism, especially among the Africa-American community. Dr. King famously once told an audience of Jewish listeners at the popular Long Island vacation spot Fire Island, there is virtually no anti-Semitism within the Negro community.

Speaking at the annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly in 1968, Dr. King said:
The response of some of the so-called young militants does not represent the position of the vast majority of Negroes. There are some who are color-consumed and they see a kind of mystique in blackness or in being colored, and anything non-colored is condemned. We do not follow that course … Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect her right to exist, its territorial integrity and the right to use whatever sea lanes it needs. Israel is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security, and that security must be a reality.

Source:
Black-Jewish Relations: Martin Luther King & Israel, by Jewish Virtual Library

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Legalizing Judea and Samaria: A Question Asked Begs an Answer

“Does someone have to be killed for lack of security for the West Bank outposts to be legalized,” railed Ori Bartfeld of Asael.

“We have come to understand that right-wing governments have no intention of regulating [legalizing] us,” he said at a nighttime Jerusalem rally Tuesday near the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday.

Yael Shevach, a resident of the Gilad Farm, whose husband Raziel was killed in a terror attack near their community in 2018, also spoke. She recalled that the government had voted to authorize the community in which she lived in the aftermath of her husband’s death. Shevach, who is also on a hunger strike, said that “three years later nothing has happened.”

AFSI Chizuk Mission participants visited with Yael on a 2018 trip. At that time we partnered with the non-profit organization,One Israel Fund, to purchase a camera for the entrance to that community (see below photo). Since then Marc Provisor, Security Director of the One Israel Fund has upgraded their security systems. We are with the strikers and hope that the Israeli government does more to provide protection for ALL Israelis, wherever in Israel they live.

Diaspora Minister Omer Yankelevich and Samaria Council Chairman Yossi Dagan came to visit Itai Zar, one of the leaders of the “young settlement” struggle, who collapsed Wednesday night in a protest tent and refused to receive a blood transfusion.

Zar has been on hunger strike for the past nine days in a protest tent, demanding that the prime minister approve a proposal to regulate the “young settlements” at a cabinet meeting next Sunday, which will allow 46 communities to be connected to water and electricity infrastructure.

Helen Freedman, z”l, in front of tribute plaque at Chavat Gilad

Sources:
‘Does someone have to die for West Bank outposts to be legalized?, by Tovah Lazaroff. Jerusalem Post, January 12, 2021

Minister Yankelevich visits ‘Young Settlement’ leader who collapsed during hunger strike, by Hezki Baruch. Arutz Sheva, January 14, 2021

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Nine Years Later: Demand to Reveal the True Number

The HonestReporting and UNRWA: Stop Teaching Hate advocacy groups launched a joint petition on Monday calling on the United States government to declassify a report detailing the true number of Palestinian refugees worldwide, nine years after it was first commissioned and seemingly shelved by the State Department.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees claims there are over 1.5 million Palestinian refugees, but it is believed that that true figure is actually closer to about 30,000, the NGOs said.

The Palestinian Authority argues that all descendants of those displaced in 1948, about 5 million people, be granted the “right of return” to their homes in what is now Israel.

HonestReporting CEO Daniel Pomerantz explained, “In every other conflict around the world, refugee populations decrease over time. Only here do the numbers continue to rise – a phenomenon which weaponizes the concept against Israel.”

Joan Lurie, chair of UNRWA: Stop Teaching Hate, added: “this is the most serious obstacle to peace; neither Israel nor any sovereign nation could accept this Right of Return for over five million people. Negotiations cannot proceed until a more realistic refugee count is available.”

Source:
NGOs petition US to reveal true number of Palestinian refugees, by ILH Staff. Israel Hayom, January 12, 2021

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