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Smotrich Says His Support Is Conditional: Re-Build Sa-Nur

Religious Zionist Party chief MK Bezalel Smotrich is calling on the Israeli government to rebuild one of the four Israeli towns evacuated in northern Samaria 16 years ago. He declared that the reestablishment of the town will be one of the party’s conditions for joining a new right-wing government.

Speaking at a special Independence Day event at Sa-Nur in northern Samaria last Thursday, Smotrich vowed to condition his support for a new Likud-led government on its agreement to rebuild Sa-Nur.“In this government’s coalition agreements there will be a clause requiring the Government of Israel to approve building permits and renewed funding for the establishment of the town of Sa-Nur. That will be the first act to rectify the crimes [done to northern Samaria] and to develop and build our beloved Land of Israel,” Smotrich said.

Smotrich’s newest condition certainly presents Netanyahu with a political challenge. This condition, of course, is in addition to his party’s refusal to sit in a government with the Islamist Ra’am party. He appears to be putting Netanyahu between the proverbial rock and hard place.

We hope that building up the Land throughout Judea and Samaria will be a part of the next government’s agenda and certainly that re-building what was senselessly destroyed will be given top priority in any new government formed.

Smotrich conditions support for gov’t on rebuilding of Sa-Nur, by Arutz Sheva Staff. Arutz Sheva, April 15, 2021

Why Smotrich could finish off Netanyahu – analysis, by Gil Hoffman. Jerusalem Post, April 18, 2021

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Big Development for a Small Community

After more than 20 years, preparatory land work is to be carried out to establish a permanent neighborhood in the small community of Ibei Hanahal, in southeastern Gush Etzion.

At the beginning of 1999, Ibei Nanahal was established with the support of the State with a nucleus of 10 pioneering Breslev Hassidic families. Over the years many more young families joined, mostly from the established communities of Western Gush Etzion. Today the community is home to around 50 families.

“We can now envision the tractors working in the field towards the construction of 96 units, which is a true Zionist endeavor to strengthen Judea and Samaria, here at the edge of the desert, as we expand our building and strengthen our presence in Gush Etzion,” said Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shlomo Ne’eman.

New Neighborhood Under Construction At Last in Ibei Hanahal, Gush Etzion, by Hana Levi Julian. Jewish Press, April 19, 2021




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UN “Blacklist” is Bankrupt

The United Nations lacks the funds to annually update its database of companies doing business with Israeli entities in Judea and Samaria, including in eastern Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and in “West Bank settlements.” This report comes from the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet.

Her office published the database, dubbed the “blacklist,” in 2020 after a three-year delay. It identified 130 business entities, of which 112 were local Israeli companies and 18 were foreign-based companies, who were engaged in such activities.

“It is not possible for the [Human Rights] office to absorb, on an open-ended recurring basis into the future, the substantial resources that updating the database and reporting to the council would annually imply,” Bachelet said.

You can’t make this stuff up. AFSI just found this Jerusalem Post article from March 18. We’re not sure how we missed it last month but it’s worth noting. Money keeps evil going and may this evil blacklist be bankrupt forever.

UN lacks funds to update its settlement ‘black list’, by Tovah Lazaroff. Jerusalem Post, March 18, 2021




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A First in Judea and Samaria on Independence Day

The traditional Independence Day flyover will pass today over dozens of locations around Israel. This year, for the first time, hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley will be able to view it from close to home.

Fighter planes, cargo planes, helicopters, training planes, aerobatic planes, and others, will participate in the flyover.

Among the new locations are the Gush Etzion area, including an aerobatic show over the Gush Etzion Junction and Efrat; and observation points from Neve Daniel, Migdal Oz, Alon Shvut, Elazar, Modi’in Illit, and Beitar Illit. Observation points include Har Adar, Naaleh, Beit Horon, Har Hatayasim, Almog, Beka’ot, and others.

Yesha Council CEO Yigal Dilmoni said: “We were happy to see that the flyover passes over new locations in our area. This year, hundreds of thousands more residents in Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley will be able to watch the celebratory Air Force flyover and an aerobatic show pass above their heads.”

AFSI is beaming from this exciting development. Normally, our Spring Chizuk Mission trip would have been scheduled around this time and we would have been there to witness the flyover. While it saddens us that we’re not there this time…next time we will certainly add it to our itinerary!

In first, IAF flyover to include Judea, Samaria, and Jordan Valley, by Ido Ben Porat. Arutz Sheva, April 13, 2021



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Biden in a Bind! Trump Policies Sparked Growth in Judea and Samaria

An aggressive Israeli building spree of over 9,000 homes during the Trump era pushed deeper into Judea and Samaria than ever before, according to an investigation. The trend puts the Biden administration in a tough bind if it follows through on pledges to revive peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians.

Satellite images and recent data show for the first time the full impact of the policies of then-President Donald Trump, who abandoned decades-long U.S. opposition to the ‘settlements’ and proposed a Mideast plan that would have allowed Israel to keep them all – even those deep inside Judea and Samaria.

Although the Trump plan has been scrapped, the lasting legacy of construction will make it even harder to create a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel. President Joe Biden’s administration has embraced the two-state solution – which is not the position that Americans For A Safe Israel supports.

The huge number of projects in the pipeline, along with massive development of Jewish community infrastructure, means Biden would need to stage an intervention with Israel to keep faint hopes for a two-state solution alive. While Biden has condemned building Jewish communities, U.S. officials have shown no appetite for such a clash as they confront more urgent problems at home.

There’s no turning back now on developing Judea and Samaria. Any plans Biden attempts only start in reverse. They were tried time and again over the decades and failed. Israel is interested in moving forward and has every legal right to do so.

Trump-era growth of settlement growth has only begun, by Associated Press. YNetnews, April 14, 2021


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Will You Join My Government?

Unnamed senior officials from the Likud party told Kan news on Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given up on the possibility of persuading the Religious Zionism party to join a coalition supported in any way by the Islamist Ra’am party.

According to the report, Netanyahu is now convinced that party chairman Bezalel Smotrich has no intention of changing his mind and agreeing to join a government that would have even the outside backing of Ra’am. The prime minister will instead turn his attention to persuading New Hope’s Gideon Sa’ar to join his government.

A central plank of Sa’ar’s electoral campaign was the formation of a right-wing government, but not under Netanyahu. Sa’ar has repeatedly vowed since the election that he will not join Netanyahu.

To reach a majority, Netanyahu needs the active support or outside backing of the right-wing Yamina, Religious Zionism, and at least two additional MKs. At this point it feels like the parties involved are going through the motions with no end in sight.

Report: Netanyahu gives up hope of Smotrich joining a Ra’am-backed coalition, by TOI Staff. Times of Israel, April 12, 2021

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Set-Back for Iran Facility: Timing is Everything

The Mossad was reportedly behind the cyber attack at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility on Sunday. Extensive damage was caused to this main uranium enrichment facility and reports say the facility may be set back by at least 9 months.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the security cabinet’s first meeting in two months to discuss Iran next Sunday amid increased tensions with Tehran.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the strike on Iran’s key Natanz nuclear facility was prepared long before the ongoing Vienna nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers.

Does the timing of this attack seem suspicious or maybe even a coincidence to you? One thing we do know is that while Biden & Co. work hard to appease the #1 state sponsor of terror, Israel is doing what’s necessary to prevent Iran from its effort to eliminate Israel.

‘Mossad behind cyberattack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility’, by Yonah Jeremy Bob, Lahav Harkov, Tzvi Joffre. Jerusalem Post, April 12, 2021

Natanz: Iran tried playing the West but got outmaneuvered by Israel, by Lahav Harkov. Jerusalem Post, April 12, 2021

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Hide and Seek: Illegal School Pops Up in Area C

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has illegally built a new school on the site of the historic Hamam al Maliakh hot springs, located in the heart of the Jordan Valley’s Bazak Nature Reserve. The site is in Area C, which is under full Israeli jurisdiction.

Some years ago, an Arab family took over the site, turning the historic structure into a private residence and making structural changes, as if it were owned by them.

Now, a new school has been built at the site in recent weeks, including a sign announcing that the construction was funded by the European Union and a group of European countries. All have been playing an increasingly significant role in the PA’s quiet illegal takeover of Area C.

Regavim, which is at the forefront of combating the PA’s illegal construction, has turned to the Civil Administration for answers on their lack of action on the issue.

Eitan Melet, Regavim’s Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria, explains: “The Palestinian Authority is playing hide and seek with the Civil Administration. The PA builds “confrontation schools” – illegal schools in Area C – for the purpose of anchoring a network of outposts in Area C. The Palestinians come up with new, inventive ways of camouflaging their activities, and the Civil Administration, either intentionally or unintentionally, continues to fall into the very effective trap that the PA is using over and over again: Once these illegal schools are completed, they create a win-win public relations headache which the Civil Administration hasn’t learned to contend with. The PA appears to be the only team on the playing field.”

PA Builds Illegal School on Israeli Territory, Funded by EU, by Aryeh Savir. Tazpit Press Service, April 11, 2021

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CONCERN FOR ISRAEL: Biden Will Restore Terror

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that a $235 million package, including $150 million for UNRWA will be forthcoming.

Israel warned the Biden administration that its decision Wednesday to restore funding to UNRWA would only help perpetuate the conflict. “Israel’s position is that the organization in its current form perpetuates the conflict and does not contribute to its resolution,” the Foreign Ministry stated. Though no direct aid will go to the PA thanks to the Taylor Force Act, the US seeks to re-open the Palestinians’ diplomatic mission in Washington.

The move was part of a larger American policy decision to begin restoration of humanitarian and security funding for Palestinians, which was cut out in its entirety by former US President Donald Trump. President Trump understood what was necessary to protect Israel and was not afraid to stand up for the truth about Israel. Biden on the other hand continues to push his delusional policies, most likely forced on him by those pulling his puppet strings.

It’s also been made clear that the United States is working hard to restart the Iran “nuclear deal.” Israel’s goal is to prevent the US from re-entering the 2015 nuclear deal without concessions. Mossad Director Yossi Cohen is expected to travel to Washington in the coming days for meetings with senior White House and US intelligence officials. Cohen is expected to present “formal evidence of Iran’s lies,” which “conceals important elements about its nuclear program.”

Nothing good can be said about any plan to re-enter the Iran “deal.” It’s dangerous for the US and the world and it’s even worse for Israel.

Press Statement: The United States Restores Assistance for the Palestinians, by Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State. April 7, 2021

Israel slams Biden’s resumption of UNRWA funding for Palestinians, by Tovah Lazaroff. Jerusalem Post, April 8, 2021

Mossad chief to travel to Washington to present evidence against Iran, by i24NEWS. i24NEWS, April 7, 2021


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US Lawmakers Sound the Alarm on PA Textbooks

A bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced on Monday the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act. The bill requires the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress reviewing textbooks produced by the Palestinian Authority. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) sponsored the bill along with Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) and Rep. David Trone (D-MD).

There are concerns that such textbooks produced by the Palestinian Authority “include language and imagery that encourage violence and hatred toward other nations and ethnic groups,” Sherman said in a statement. “Such content is particularly concerning given the use of such materials in educational settings for children as young as primary school age.”

AFSI applauds the US lawmakers for taking up this important matter. The US taxpayer has provided the PA with millions of dollars with no transparency to show what the funds have produced. On the flip side, we are troubled by the comments made by the US lawmakers, at least as quoted in the JPost article. They did not acknowledge that Israel is the primary object of PA hatred in the textbooks. Let’s not forget that truth.

US lawmakers introduce bill to make State Dept. review PA textbooks, by Omri Nahmias. Jerusalem Post, April 7, 2021

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